What does ethnopharmacology have to teach humanity in our present times?
That is the question that informs the conversation you are going to hear today; another Psychedelic Café here on Adventure Through The Mind.
In this cafe, we feature a number of guests who will be speaking at the upcoming symposium, Ethnopharmacologic Search For Psychoactive Drugs, aka the ESPD55 — where “33 of the most exciting minds in psychoactives research, present 37 sessions exploring the world of ethnopharmacologic knowledge through various life-centric themes: ethnosphere, phytosphere, mycosphere, sonosphere and beyond.” [Full speaker list for this conference can be found here.]
But the ESPD55 conference itself is not the topic of this episode, but the question: What does ethnopharmacology have to teach humanity in our present times?
In the exploration of that question, this cafe wonders about ethnopharmacology and the reconciliation of humanity with nature; what traditional and indigenous knowledge systems hold for our capacity to facilitate this reconciliation; the importance and challenge of good reciprocity, fair compensation, and the prioritization and protection of indigenous sovereignty in the process; the importance of all of this in the face of a growing, global ecological crisis; and where psychedelic plants and psychedelic experiences fit within it all.
David F. Rodriguez-Mora is Ph.D. in Environmental Anthropology Student at The University of Texas at San Antonio. During his undergraduate studies, David researched the traditional uses of plants by rural and Indigenous communities in Colombia, Panama, and Italy. His doctoral research will expand the scope and geographic range of his master’s research to better understand the Colombian A’i territorial, cultural, and intellectual resources and help his A’i colleagues protect them. He seeks to integrate methodologies and theories from the social (ethnography) and natural (ethnobotany) sciences to provide a nuanced and more complete understanding of the Yajé socio-ecological power relations and their change across generations. He plans to address why and how the Colombian A’i define Yajé knowledge and differentially select and use Yajé varieties, how these knowledge and selection patterns have temporarily and spatially spread, and their implications for the A’i sense of identity and value, subsistence, and Yajé conservation. Check Out David’s Presentation at ESPD55: Intellectual Property Rights: Advancements and Future Prospects in Ayahuasca researchColin Domnauer graduated from UC Berkeley, where he completed his thesis investigating the use of the psychoactive plant Vilca (Anadenanthera spp.) in pre-Columbian Andean cultures. He is now pursuing graduate research in Mycology at the University of Utah. Check Out Colin’s Presentation at ESPD55: Expanding evidence of Anadenanthera in the pre-Columbian Andes: Identifying depictions of Anadenanthera in the iconographic records of Cupisnique, Paracas and Nazca cultures
Our guests for this Psychedelic Café are all speakers at the upcoming ESPD55 ethnopharmacology conference, where “33 of the most exciting minds in psychoactives research, present 37 sessions exploring the world of ethnopharmacologic knowledge through various life-centric themes: ethnosphere, phytosphere, mycosphere, sonosphere and beyond.”
This ethnopharmacology conference is hosted by The McKenna Academy (yes, that’s Dennis McKenna) and it will be both in-person and live-streamed May 23-26.
The conference was generous enough to ensure broad access to the event itself by providing access to their live-stream by donation (minimum $10 USD).
The cafe structure creates a quality and dynamic of conversation, idea sharing, and mutual learning that is incredibly ripe and valuable for not only the people involved but the listening audience who will be able to listen to it afterward. In the current times of uncertainty, complexity, and change, I believe the psychedelic cafe will offer content not otherwise available in a time where it is deeply needed. If you want to try doing your own cafe, instructions on how to do so can be found here.
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