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 :)