On June 26 & 27 City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, Synergetic Press and Transform Press hosted a free, two-day virtual symposium celebrating the pioneering legacy of Sasha and Ann Shulgin for the launch of the first Shulgin book since 2011, The Nature of Drugs: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact.
Bold explorers of the frontiers of neurochemistry, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, master psychopharmacologist, along with his wife Ann, during their lifetimes, helped usher into being a major paradigm shift in the way we view the exploration of human consciousness. Through a series of sessions comprising lectures and panel discussions, we will explore the many aspects of the legacy of Sasha and Ann Shulgin and pay tribute to a man known to many as one of the great pioneers of the exploration of human consciousness.
Speakers included Ann Shulgin, Brigitte and Dr. Stanislav Grof, Michael Pollan, Dr. Mariavittoria Mangini, Dr. David E. Nichols, Dr. Rick Doblin, Dr. Erika Dyck, Dr. David Presti, Bob Jesse, Hamilton Morris, Dr. Janis Phelps, Dr. Bill Richards, Dr. Kile Ortigo, Mike Margolies, Leonard Pickard, and Dr. Paul Daley among many others.
The event was recorded and links to each of the five sessions are below.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Session 1: The Shulgin’s Pioneering Psychedelic Research (12:00 PM-2:00 PM PDT)
- Host: Peter Maravelis, introduction to event and reflections on City Lights relationship to consciousness studies
- Moderator: Bob Jesse – researcher, engineer, convener of the Council on Spiritual Practices
- Dr. Stanislav Grof and Brigitte Grof – Stan Grof is the world’s leading researcher in psychedelic therapy, breathwork, and the exploration of non-ordinary states of consciousness, with wife and psychotherapist, Brigitte.
- Dr. David E. Nichols – co-founder Heffter Institute, Chair in Pharmacology at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy
- Dr. Paul Daley – Chief Science Officer and Chemist, Alexander Shulgin Research Institute
- Wendy Tucker – Publisher, Transform Press, daughter of Ann Shulgin
- Connie Littlefield – filmmaker, producer “Better Living Through Chemistry,” documentary
- Earth and Fire Erowid – cofounders of the non-profit Erowid Center, largest and most visited collection of information about psychoactive substances on the web
- Ann Shulgin, Honored Guest
Session 2: Stories from the Edge: Trailblazers in Psychopharmacology (3:00 PM-5:00 PM PDT)
- Moderator: Dr. Mariavittoria Mangini – family nurse-midwife for 25 years, author of numerous papers on historiography and social impacts of psychedelics
- Allan Badiner – editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics
- Dr. Erika Dyck – Professor and a Canada Research Chair in the History of Health & Social Justice
- Dr. George Greer – psychotherapist, cofounder Heffter Research Institute, pioneer in MDMA medical research
- Dr. Dennis McKenna – ethnobotanist, author, founder of the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy
- Keeper Trout – ethnobotanist, conservationist, curator of the Shulgin Archive Project
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Session 3: Currents in Psychedelic Research & Regulation (12:00 PM- 2:00 PM PDT)
- Moderator: Hamilton Morris – chemist, filmmaker, and science journalist
- Dr. Rick Doblin – co-founder, CEO, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
- John Gilmore, Chairman, MAPS, cofounder Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Amanda Feilding – Founder and Executive Director of the Beckley Foundation
- Cosmo Feilding, CEO, Beckley Psytech, Limited
- Leonard Pickard – chemist, author, former research associate in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, and Deputy Director of the Drug Policy Analysis Program at UCLA
- Dr. Paul Daley – CEO, Chemist, Alexander Shulgin Research Institute and Dr. Nicholas Cozzi – professor of pharmacology, research scientist
Session 4: Psychedelic Psychotherapy & Social Impact (3:00 PM-5:00 PM PDT)
- Moderator: Dr. Janis Phelps – Dean of Faculty at CIIS for the graduate departments in the School of Humanities and Social Science; founder and director of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research
- Dr. David Presti – professor of neurobiology at UC Berkeley
- Dr. Kile Ortigo – clinical psychologist and founder of the Center for Existential Exploration, author of Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide For Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration
- Dr. Bill Richards – psychologist in the Psychiatry Department of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, consultant/trainer at sites of psychedelic research internationally
- Annie Oak – Managing Editor, Lucid News, journalist, long-time public health activist, developed risk reduction strategies for event organizers; cofounder of Woman’s Visionary Council
Session 5: Towards a Sane and Healthy Future (6:00 PM-8:00 PM PDT)
- Moderator: Mike Margolies – psychedelic community catalyst and conversation creator; Founder of Psychedelic Seminars (psychsems.com)
- Bob Jesse – researcher, engineer, convener of the Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP.org)
- Michael Pollan – NYTimes bestselling author of How to Change Your Mind, cofounder UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics
- Ann Shulgin author, collaborator with Sasha Shulgin, with her daughter
- Wendy Tucker – Publisher, Transform Press
- Dr. Julie Holland – psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology, author of numerous books, most recent Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection, From Soul to Psychedelics
Closing statements with Dr. Paul Daley, Ann Shulgin, Wendy Tucker, and Keeper Trout, sharing about the work of the Shulgin Foundation and forthcoming publications at Transform Press.
Special thanks go out to our community partners California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Usona Institute, Beckley Foundation, Psychedelic Seminars, San Francisco Psychedelic Society, Psychedelics Today, Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, Lucid News, Fireside Project, McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy, The Psychedelic Society UK, Tam Integration, Erowid Center, and Psychedelic Sangha.
For an excellent summary of the event, see Katie Stone’s article on Lucid News.
Celebrating Our First Copublished Book with Transform Press
The Nature of Drugs presents Sasha Shulgin’s popular San Francisco State University course on what drugs are, how they work, how they are processed by the body, and how they affect our society. The course also delves into social issues and reactions involving drugs, and discussions of governmental attempts at controlling them and features Sasha’s engaging lecture style peppered with illuminating anecdotes and amusing asides.
”Alexander Shulgin was many things, but first and foremost he was a teacher: he taught students, law enforcement, physicians, and eventually the world through the publication of his books PiHKAL and TiHKAL. This is Alexander Shulgin at his sharpest and most passionate. Emboldened by the emergency scheduling of MDMA and the passage of the Federal Analogue Act only three months previously, he offers a series of discursive lectures on medicine, pharmacology, human physiology, philosophy of science, astrology, alchemy, law, and linguistics. This text is a precious opportunity to attend a class taught by one of the great scientific thinkers of the 20th century and an indispensable primer for understanding the immensely complicated subject we call ‘drugs.’” ―Hamilton Morris