Psychedelics Normalization

Hi ev­ery­one,

This is my first post on the EA Fo­rum!

I’m one of the board mem­bers of Har­vard Col­lege Effec­tive Altru­ism. I also re­cently co-founded the Har­vard Science of Psychedelics Club.

I’m cu­ri­ous why psychedelics aren’t talked about more on the EA Fo­rum and also why they aren’t talked about very fre­quently as a po­ten­tial EA cause area. I know Aaron Ne­smith-Beck has made a pow­er­point sug­gest­ing psychedelic re­search as an EA cause area. Yet, it seems like there are still only whispers and mur­murs in the EA com­mu­nity about psychedelics.

There’s a lot of promis­ing re­search that shows how psychedelic drugs may benefit those with treat­ment-re­sis­tant de­pres­sion, al­co­hol and to­bacco ad­dic­tion, and anx­iety and mood di­s­or­ders. Also, MDMA is be­gin­ning Phase 3 tri­als for the treat­ment of PTSD. And there gen­er­ally seems to be a lot of low-hang­ing fruit in the field of psychedelics! Both within and out­side of sci­en­tific re­search. Clar­ity Health Fund, which funds pro­jects in the psychedelic space, ac­tu­ally has a list of pro­jects they’d like to fund!

Although there seems to be a reawak­en­ing of psychedelics in the past 5 years, es­pe­cially with the re­lease of Michael Pol­lan’s novel, How to Change Your Mind, I think there is still a lot of taboo around the sub­ject.

Be­cause of that, one of my small goals at the mo­ment is to help nor­mal­ize pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion around psychedelics. And while I have avoided us­ing the Har­vard brand on­line in the past, I re­cently de­cided to make a YouTube video with the goal of us­ing it to help nor­mal­ize the dis­cus­sion of psychedelics. You can watch the video here if you’d like.

Con­sider this post a gen­tle push for more dis­cus­sion about the in­ter­sec­tion of Effec­tive Altru­ism and psychedelics.

And if you are also in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing psychedelics as an EA cause area, shoot me a mes­sage! Even bet­ter, if you’ll be at EAGx Bos­ton this com­ing week­end, feel free to find me there to chat as well :)