Update 29-3-2012: News about the new conference can be found on the ICPR site.
Update 1-3-2012: Change of date and name: Mind Altering Science will now be named Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research, the dates will be 6 and 7 October 2012.
Update 24-10-2011: The date for our next conference has been set! Mind Altering Science 2012 will take place in the weekend of 2-3 June, 2012, 6 and 7 October 2012. More information will follow soon.
Update 30-07-2011: The first conference videos are now available online, watch them here.
Update 12-03-2011: Our completely restyled and almost completely re-Englished website has just been launched! Mind Altering Science videos will follow soon.
Update 21-01-2011: Photos from the conference are now online, together with the cartoons from Margreet de Heer and Yiri Kohl.
What a weekend!
A very sincere and honest THANK YOU goes out to all those that made this conference happen. Up to 450 visitors showed up during the weekend, which surpassed our highest expectations. Many interesting presentations and a great diversity of scientific disciplines, topics, substances and angles. An interested and intelligent young crowd, experts from all fields, researchers, students, scholars and the occassional psychonaut made this event truly special. We have learned a lot and are full of ideas for a future conference.
Building on the success of its first conference in 2010, The OPEN Foundation is busy organising its second scientific conference on psychedelic research in the weekend of October 6 and 7: Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research 2012.So what to expect? The latest results on research into MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca, LSD, ketamine and others, workshops with international speakers and a lot of new scientific data.
The Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research is organised for all those with a serious interest in psychedelic research.
We have invited therapists, researchers, addiction experts and academics, as well as students (BA/MA/PhD) in the fields of psychology, medicine, biology and pharmacology to become acquainted with a field of research that regular university curricula barely touch upon. This is not to say that students of other disciplines are not able to relate to the subject matter and gain fascinating insights into new scientific territories. We hope to get all attendants to learn something new. Psychedelic research has a strong multidisciplinary character, which is reflected both in the audience as well as in the speakers, who all come from their own background and whose lectures demonstrate the inherent multifaceted nature of psychedelics research.
With researchers and therapists from a wide variety of academic disciplines, this event will be dedicated to the exploration of a broad range of subjects. From addiction treatment to psychotherapy with the aid of psychedelics, from the neurobiology of ayahuasca to the social, ritual and legal implications of its use, and from human psychopharmacology research and the exploration of exceptional mindstates to new views on the legalisation of psychedelic substances.
The conference lasts two full days; the conference will start at 9 am each day and end around 6 pm. In between lectures attendees will have ample time to discuss with speakers, to buy books, to acquire more information on psychedelic research and associated organisations and more. The whole conference will be held in English.
The discovery of psychedelic substances as LSD and psilocybin in the early 20th century made a big impact on the scientific community. By 1965 over 2000 papers had been published describing results of over 40.000 patients successfully treated for e.g. anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression and alcoholism. However, when most psychedelic substances were made illegal in 1966, these same therapists and scientists were forced to abandon their research. Psychedelic research came to an end as quickly as it had come to life.
The lack of control groups, proper subject screening and follow-up studies made it hard to draw any hard, scientific conclusions. However, the tide has turned, thanks to the efforts of MAPS, the Beckley Foundation and the Heffter Institute. Since the beginning of the 1990’s, psychedelic research has been carried out in accordance with contemporary scientific standards. Although the results of these studies look promising and many scientists working with these substances believe psychedelics to have a great potential, the subfield of psychedelic science has remained quite unknown to the general scientific audience.