"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed." - Albert Einstein
Psychedelics and related substances have contributed to a number of major scientific and technological breakthroughs and developments. Their highly ill-informed designation as Class A substances "with a high potential for abuse and no medical use" stands in stark contrast to what the accumulating scientific evidence has to say about these compounds. A much neglected area of psychedelic science, ironically, is how psychedelics contribute to the creative scientific process. Outlawing psychedelics - as well as depriving people of medicines and therapeutic aids - is also depriving people of profoundly useful tools to enhance the creative, problem solving process.
A number of scientists have been open about their psychedelic use, but such people are likely to be in a profound minority, with others fearing repercussions for their honesty. It goes without saying how influential psychedelics were to the thinking of Harvard University psychologists Tim Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner. Research was initially conducted with psilocybin, and in a more ordered scientific context, but LSD appeared on the scene and events at Harvard eventually culminated with Leary and Alpert being fired from the university. This was a pivotal event that ignited the 1960's psychedelic revolution and counter culture movement, but a regrettable side effect of this was the political backlash against psychedelics, which had them classified as Schedule 1 substances, or Class A this side of the pond. This dramatically and suddenly halted all scientific research into substances otherwise considered to have been showing substantial promise in many areas and certainly worthy of scientific attention. From the government crackdown of the middle 60's, it is only now, half a century later that the scientific taboo of researching these compounds is beginning to thaw slightly. ...[Continue reading on Reality Sandwich]