Bestselling author and journalist Michael Pollan has spent 30 years writing about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the environment. He’s been a New York Times bestselling author and a contributing writer to many publications. Chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (2010), Pollan is also a professor and lectures widely on food, agriculture, and health.
Pollan will be discussing his latest book, “How To Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.” A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs, and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences. In 2013, around the time his father received a terminal cancer diagnosis, Michael Pollan learned about a drug trial at NYU and Johns Hopkins in which cancer patients were being given a large dose of psilocybin (the active ingredient in Magic Mushrooms) in an effort to relieve their “existential distress.” He began interviewing people for whom that one experience proved transformative, resetting how they approached death and, in most cases, relieving their depression, anxiety and fear. This launched Pollan on what became a personal quest to learn what psychedelics –psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca, etc.—might have to teach us about the mind and his mind—for he embarked on a series of guided psychedelic “journeys” to understand the experience from the inside. At the same time, he investigated the neuroscience of psychedelics– how they temporarily rewire the brain in ways that can be helpful in breaking the destructive habits of thought that underlie a range of mental difficulties, including depression, addiction, anxiety, and obsession. In an inspiring talk that combines a personal journey of discovery with the latest neuroscience and psychology, Pollan describes how psychedelic experiences can in fact change one’s mind, shedding a new light on our place in nature, our sense of self, and on our understanding of spirituality.
This speaker is sponsored by:
A separately ticketed meet-and-greet reception will take place immediately following the event. For an additional $75 you can meet the speaker for a photo opportunity, a signing opportunity (whenever possible), and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Frederick Community College’s Hospitality, Culinary & Tourism Institute. All proceeds from the meet-and-greet reception will benefit children’s programs at Frederick County Public Libraries.