Vilified and misunderstood for decades, psychedelics and other controlled substances are resurfacing into the public sphere. This time, however, by the hand of the latest developments in neuroscience and neuroimaging technology. Amanda Feilding and the Beckley Foundation have been at the forefront of this renaissance, co-designing and carrying out breakthrough research in collaboration with leading international scientists and institutions in the field. Our Beckley/Imperial Psychedelic Science Programme, featured in the article, consists of Amanda Feilding and Prof. David Nutt (co-directors) and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, who is the programme’s lead investigator. Amanda has also [co-]authored over 30 scientific and policy papers and book chapters on neuroscientific research and global drug policy reform.
“Imagine a family of drugs that could treat addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress: sicknesses of the soul for which modern medicine, in all its surgical wizardry, has few cures. Substances that were a fillip to creativity and could provide those who took them with an experience comparable to seeing God or witnessing the birth of a child. Say these wonder chemicals were found: why would a society make them illegal?
The question has dogged Amanda Feilding since the 1960s, when during her teens and early 20s she first tried psychedelics. Through cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms she found that the doors of perception were flung wide open. A blissful period of experimentation followed, in the heyday of that swinging decade, before the doors were slammed shut again in what she says was a panic about their dangers.”