Please note this is NOT a ZOOM Lecture but an in person lecture at our museum – tickets include a complimentary glass of Devil’s Botany Absinthe
Doors open at 6:30pm and lecture starts at 7pm
Psychonauts: Drugs and the Making of the Modern Mind, with Mike Jay – LIVE
A provocative and original history of the scientists and writers, artists and philosophers who took drugs to explore the hidden regions of the mind
Until the twentieth century, scientists investigating the effects of drugs on the mind did so by experimenting on themselves. Vivid descriptions of drug experiences sparked insights across the mind sciences, pharmacology, medicine, and philosophy. Accounts in journals and literary fiction inspired a fascinated public to make their own experiments—in scientific demonstrations, on exotic travels, at literary salons, and in occult rituals.
But after 1900 drugs were increasingly viewed as a social problem, and the long tradition of self-experimentation began to disappear.
From Sigmund Freud’s experiments with cocaine to William James’s epiphany on nitrous oxide, Mike Jay brilliantly recovers a lost intellectual tradition of drug-taking that fed the birth of psychology, the discovery of the unconscious, and the emergence of modernism. Today, as we embrace novel cognitive enhancers and psychedelics, the experiments of the original psychonauts reveal the deep influence of mind-altering drugs on Western science, philosophy, and culture.
Mike Jay has written extensively on scientific and medical history and contributes regularly to the London Review of Books and the Wall Street Journal. His previous books on the history of drugs include Mescaline, High Society, and The Atmosphere of Heaven.
We are unable to give refunds for in person events with less than seven days notice in any circumstances
Devil’s Botany is London’s first absinthe distillery, founded by Directors of The Last Tuesday Society’s Absinthe Parlour & Cocktail Bar.