From Stigma to Science: The Evolution of Psychedelic Research


Episode 214

Imran Khan

In this Psychedelic Podcast episode, host Paul F. Austin speaks with Imran Khan, Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP).

The conversation explores diverse topics, from the recent MAPS conference to Khan's career journey and BCSP’s mission to reshape psychedelic awareness. It asks the essential question: How can the field of psychedelics strike a balance between rapid growth, scientific rigor, and ethical considerations? Paul and Imran dissect the accelerating shift in public sentiment, evidenced by UC Berkeley’s survey indicating that 61% of Americans support psychedelic therapy.

This episode offers a multifaceted dialogue navigating the complexities of psychedelics, science, and society.

Imran Khan:

Imran Khan is Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP). The BCSP exists to explore the potential of psychedelics through independent and rigorous research, training, and public education at one of the world’s foremost universities.

Imran has spent most of his career working at the nexus of science and society. He was previously the CEO of the British Science Association and ran grants programs for the Wellcome Trust, the world’s third-largest charitable foundation. Imran has also advised lawmakers in the UK Parliament. He has presented at forums ranging from the Aspen Ideas Festival to the World Economic Forum and SXSW. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian, and BBC News.

Imran has degrees in biology and in science communication from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London, respectively, and an MBA from City University, London. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys trail-running, many forms of nerdery, and trying to cook the perfect dal.

Podcast Highlights

  • Paul & Imran’s reflections on the 2023 MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference.
  • Imran’s career trajectory and motivations for working with psychedelics.
  • The surprising results of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) public survey.
  • How history has informed BCSP’s approach to psychedelic science.
  • BCSP’s role as a reliable voice in the field of psychedelic education.
  • BCSP’s psychedelic journalism fellowship, sponsored by Tim Ferriss.
  • Berkeley’s psychedelic facilitator training program.
  • The impact of California’s Senate Bill 58 and the TREAT Initiative.
  • Imran’s gripe with the term “plant medicine.”

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Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.1 Paul F. Austin: Welcome back to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, where we explore how the safe and responsible use of psychedelic medicines can catalyze individual and collective transformation. Today, I'm speaking with Imran Khan, the executive director at the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics.

0:00:20.3 Imran Khan: It's hard to work in this field and not sometimes be concerned about the level of hype and the level of over-enthusiasm that you see sometimes. And there is a tendency for it to be easier to kind of speculate about what psychedelics can do and perhaps oversell them than it is to focus on what we actually understand and the nuanced state of the science and the state of the medicine. So I think partly 'cause we're at Berkeley, and partly because that is a brand that people recognize and trust. I'm hoping that we can speak as one of the nations and one of the world's premier public universities and say, here's where the research is now and here's what we understand and here are the risks as well as the potential benefits.


0:01:03.8 Paul F. Austin: Welcome to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, Audio Mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance, and collective transformation.

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0:04:49.2 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, this is Paul Austin, founder and CEO at Third Wave, and welcome back to the Psychedelic podcast. A few questions that we explored in the podcast today with Imran Khan. How can we responsibly bring psychedelics to the forefront of modern medicine, law, and spirituality? What happens when public enthusiasm outpaces scientific understanding, and what responsibility do academic institutions have in steering public discourse? Today, we have Imran Khan on the podcast. Imran is the executive director at the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics.

0:05:26.0 Paul F. Austin: Imran and I first met at the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference. I had been recruiting him for a period of a few months leading up to that conference to come on the podcast. We had a chance to meet, briefly connect, and I invited him on the show and we went deep, on a number of topics. It was a really good episode, and I encourage you to listen to the full thing. And as always, you can go deeper into this episode with full show notes, transcript, any links that we mention in the conversation. Just follow the link in the description or head to the And scroll to Episode 214 with Imran Khan.

0:06:07.9 Paul F. Austin: In this episode, we go deep on the MAPS Psychedelic Science conference, Imran's career trajectory and motivations for working with psychedelics, the surprising results of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics public psychedelic survey. How history has informed BCSP's approach to Psychedelic Science. BCSP's role as a reliable voice in the field of psychedelic education and journalism, as well as we talk about their facilitator training program. A little bit more on Imran. Imran Khan is the executive director of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. The BCSP exists to explore the potential of psychedelics through independent and rigorous research, training, and public education at one of the world's foremost universities. Imran has spent most of his career working at the nexus of science and society. He was previously the CEO of the British Science Association and ran grants programs for the Welcome Trust, the world's third largest charitable foundation.

0:07:08.4 Paul F. Austin: Imran has also advised lawmakers in the UK parliament and has presented at forums ranging from the Aspen Ideas Festival to the World Economic Forum and South by Southwest. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian, and BBC News. Imran has degrees in biology and science communication from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London respectively, and an MBA from City University London. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay area and enjoys trail running, many forms of nerdery and trying to cook the perfect dal. Okay, before we dive in, take a moment to follow the psychedelic podcast on your favorite app, like and subscribe on YouTube. It's a simple and small action that you can take right now to amplify psychedelic awareness and help to shift the cultural conversation around psychedelic medicines. We are all in this together. Alright, that's it for now. I hope you enjoy my conversation today with Imran Khan.

0:08:07.4 Paul F. Austin: So Imran, we had a chance to meet at the recent MAPS Psychedelic Science conference that was hosted in Denver. This was about two and a half months ago from the time of this recording. What were some of your impressions as someone who's recently entered this field about the conference, about the contents of the conference, about the people at the conference, what did you walk away from that event thinking and reflecting on?

0:08:29.4 Imran Khan: I think the conference, I mean, firstly, it was great to see you there. First time I met you in person, so that was a real pleasure. But the conference was, I think it reminded me of just how both fast moving and diverse the field of psychedelics is. At that conference, you had people walking around in full on business suits. You had people who looked like they were dressed for a day at the beach. You had everyone in between. And I think one of the things that's most interested me about the psychedelic sector is that psychedelics seem to be touching everything in our society, from medicine, to law, to religion, to neuroscience research, to the way in which people are approaching things like relationships and coaching. And it's really hard to think of other fields that have such a kind of wide variety of influences. And that was certainly reflected in the range of different sessions you had at the Psychedelic Science Conference in Denver.

0:09:35.0 Imran Khan: And it really touched upon that entire breadth of activity. And it seems to me that one of the really interesting things that's happening in the sector, the psychedelic sector right now, is that up until relatively recently, it's sort of impossible to just about have a handle on all of these different strands that you can be following, the journalism and the business and the research and the therapy. And it all seems to hold together, and this might just be a newcomer's perspective, but it feels like we're at a bit of an inflection point where the field is now growing so large that it is starting to kind of have these different strands and threads within it that are somewhat more independent. So just seeing that dynamic in person at Psychedelic Science was really fascinating to me.

0:10:22.8 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, there's a word that's been coming up a lot for me lately, which is coherence. And so as the space has grown and developed, and especially in the last few years as a lot of institutions have started centers as there's been billions of dollars in investment, that's poured in as MDMA is on the verge of approval, and you have states like Colorado and now California who are potentially legalizing possession of some of these plant medicines, some of that initial coherence of being the sort of underground movement was starting to dissipate. And I felt like that conference, it just allowed for an opportunity to create some coherence once again within an industry that's really blossomed. And of course, one of the aspects of coherence is not just harmony, but also disharmony and how those two play off of each other. And so my sense is the discussions, the disagreements across aisles are important. And as long as we continue to come from a place of compassion and understanding, sort of embodying these lessons that so many of us have learned in psychedelics, that sense of care, I really find to be at the heart of this. And that leads me to my next question for you, which is why do you care about this work? Why did you choose to become the executive director of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics?

0:11:51.6 Imran Khan: I'm happy to answer that, but just to respond to something you just said, I think that point you make about coherence is really important. And again, another thing that strikes me in this field is that people do come to it with all sorts of different motivations. There are some people I've met who are into psychedelics because they want to solve the worldwide mental health crisis. There are some who believe it'll be the thing that enables us to stop having political tribalism. There are some who think it's down to climate change or the missing key to help us unlock the mysteries of consciousness. And obviously these things aren't overlapping. Sorry, they're not mutually exclusive. Some of them are overlapping. But you do see a diversity of those motivations that people bring to it. And I think that sometimes people don't talk about their motivations. They don't say, here's ultimately why I'm interested in this. Or there's an expectation that everyone shares the same motivations, which isn't always true. And I think one of the nice things about all getting together in person at somewhere like Denver is that we realize that we don't all need to believe the same things and want the same things. That actually there is enough commonality and enough shared interest that there is a space that's big enough to hold all of us.

0:13:02.0 Imran Khan: So I agree with you on the kind of the interesting tensions in the coherent picture. But as for me, my background into this is through science. So I'm one of those people who originally got a science degree. I studied biology in university, but realized that I didn't quite have the patience to go and become a full on researcher. So I went and got a master's degree in science and communication and became a science journalist and then worked in science policy. And this is all back in the UK, as you can probably tell by my accent. So I really spent most of my career trying to figure out how do you establish stronger and more beneficial links between what happens in science and research in the academy with the rest of society. So I wrote about science for a while, then I helped advise policymakers back in the UK about how to use science well. And actually, if you want me to tell you a story, I can tell you how...

0:13:53.3 Paul F. Austin: Please.

0:13:54.2 Imran Khan: That led my first interaction with psychedelics. So I'm sure a name that's familiar to many of your listeners is David Nutt. Professor David Nutt, he's a neuro-psychopharmacologist at Imperial College London. And back in my early 20s, David, as well as having this day job at Imperial College where he was researching drugs and drug harms, he also was fulfilling this role as the UK government's chief advisor on drug policy. So he chaired this body called the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, really grand pretty highfalutin name. It was the ACMD and David spent some time basically telling the government, based on the available evidence, here is what the harms of different drugs like MDMA or ecstasy or heroin might be, and here's what the implications of that are for drug scheduling. And it's advisory body, so the government's under no burden to kind of just follow what it says. But his job was basically to say, here's what the evidence says. And when he was doing that role, I was, I think, 22 or 23, and I just got this job working for a member of parliament in the House of Commons in the UK. And he was a real science nerd. He was a medical doctor before he became a politician. So he was really interested in this question of how do you create public policies that are grounded in evidence.

0:15:21.0 Imran Khan: So that's the kind of work I was doing in parliament. And while I was doing that, a couple of things happened. One is that the UK government decided to raise the scheduling level of cannabis. They were saying that cannabis has got more dangerous, we're gonna increase it from, I think, class C to class B. And David Nutt came out and said, well, obviously, that's your choice. But that's not where the evidence lies. The evidence isn't suggesting that the cannabis is equivalent in harm to other drugs in class B. So there was a bit of a kind of a media kerfuffle about that. And David got slightly rapped on the knuckles for disagreeing with government policy. And then a few months later, I think this is a kind of a paper that got published before David actually became a government advisor. But he wrote this paper that then got covered called, Equasy, an overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms. I wonder if I could just read like a paragraph of it to you.

0:16:24.3 Paul F. Austin: Please.

0:16:24.9 Imran Khan: So David writes in this paper, and this kind of goes back to, I think, 2010. And he's talking about this substance called Equasy. And he says, "The dangers of Equasy were revealed to me as a result of recent clinical referral of a woman in her early 30s, who had suffered permanent brain damage. She'd undergone severe personality change that made her more irritable and more impulsive, with anxiety and loss of the ability to experience pleasure, so anhedonia. There was also a degree of hyperfrontality and behavioral disinhibition. So change in behavior, that led to many bad decisions in relationships with poor choice of partners and an unwanted pregnancy. She was unable to work and is unlikely to ever do so again, so the social costs for brain damage are very high."

0:17:05.7 Imran Khan: So what was her addiction? What was Equasy? It's an addiction that produces the release of adrenaline and endorphins and is used by many millions of people in the UK, including children and young people. About 10 people a year die. There are many unpredictable risks and there's violent conduct associated. And he says, based on all of these harms, it seems likely that the ACMD, which is this panel, would classify Equasy as a class A drug, which is the highest level of scheduling in the UK. And then he asks, have you worked out what Equasy is yet? It stands for Equine Addiction Syndrome, a condition characterized by gaining pleasure from horses and being prepared to countenance the consequences.

0:17:48.3 Imran Khan: So he was basically saying, look, there are all these harms associated with horse riding, but we basically turn a blind eye because it's done by people who are on average, more high status, it seems being out in nature, it seems being fulfilling and all the rest of it. But if you directly compare the harms of this activity horse riding with drugs like ecstasy, MDMA, they're definitely comparable. And in some ways, the dangers of horse riding are much worse and have much higher costs. And as you can imagine, having already had a bit of a run in with the UK government on cannabis policy, this led to this almighty row and he was fired from his position as chair of this panel. And I was sitting there as a kind of 22, 23-year-old recent science graduate who's all excited about the role of science and evidence in policymaking and just being like, A, how is it possible that an independent scientist can literally just say what the evidence says and then get fired for saying what the evidence says? And, B, how is it that drug policy seems to be so out of whack with research and science?

0:18:54.2 Imran Khan: So at the time, we then launched this campaign to make it harder for the government to fire scientists for just saying what the evidence says. But that was my first brush with psychedelics and really made me curious about what these substances are, why did MDMA have such a bad reputation? What the actual harms associated? And I think that interest, plus having studied biology at university and really being fascinated by issues around neuroscience and consciousness, they've always been an area of fascination for me. So I moved over from the UK a few years ago now, and when I landed in California, I was like, How do I combine my experience of running organizations, of understanding science and being interested in psychedelics with a career? And it never would have occurred to me back in London that I could do all these things. But once I landed in the US, I was like, oh wow, turns out there's all this amazing research going on and centers like the BCSP being set up. And I applied for the job and got lucky, and here I am.

0:19:52.2 Paul F. Austin: And I'm so curious, how did that opportunity land on your desk? How did you find out about it? And was it just, you saw it online one day, you're like, that looks great. Was it from a mentor or a friend? How did that kind of come into your awareness? And why apply? Why take the job? Why commit to a mission like this as the executive director?

0:20:17.4 Imran Khan: Well, there's a boring answer to your question, and maybe a less most boring answer. The boring answer is I genuinely just saw it on LinkedIn. I was kind of browsing, being like, oh, what am I going to do with my life? And the BCSP job came up, and I instantly looked at it, and I was like, oh, they're doing science and research and training and public education. This just kind of ticks all my boxes. The more interesting one is that I just told you that story about David Nutt, and he and I stayed in touch for many years. And when I moved to California, I dropped him an email saying, I've always been interested in psychedelics, and I'm interested in the kind of the scientific side of things and what happens when psychedelics and science and society collide. And if I was interested in working in this area who should I talk to? And he introduced me to a couple of people in the Bay Area. One was Josh Woolley, who runs one of the psychedelic labs at UCSF, TrPR. And he also introduced me to Robin Carhart Harris, who I'm sure your listeners will know. And Robin and I had a very lovely lunch off the back of that intro.

0:21:16.3 Imran Khan: And he alerted me to the work that was starting at Berkeley and that Michael Pollan was leading. So I just said, I feel like sometimes it feels like the universe is just sending you a bunch of signals. And all those signals for me were kind of pointing towards this really exciting role. But that's the way I took it. I think it comes back to those two things. One is I've just always been fascinated by neuroscience and consciousness and how those things are influenced and created. And secondly, I feel like you don't need me to tell you that the potential of psychedelics and everything from medicine to research to society is huge. And the change is happening so quickly. And I think it needs kind of active engagement to make sure it happens in a good way. There's all sorts of things that can go wrong. And I felt that by working this role, I could help contribute in some small way to positive outcomes.

0:22:11.2 Imran Khan: And it also, on a more selfish level, it really feels like having a kind of ringside front row seat to just a tremendously fascinating change that's happening in our society. I feel like the speed and the scale at which you're seeing engagement acceptance change is phenomenal. So even if you had, I think, no interest in the psychedelic experience or the neuroscience or the kind of the healing capacity, I feel like just from a kind of sociological perspective, it's a really fascinating area to be working in.

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0:24:12.7 Paul F. Austin: Well, in one of the recent surveys that UC Berkeley sent out was just to get a sense of the percentage of Americans who would support legal psychedelic-assisted therapy. And I think that came back at something like 61% of Americans were open to that, right?

0:24:32.1 Imran Khan: Correct. That's bang on...

0:24:33.9 Paul F. Austin: Which is incredible.

0:24:34.4 Imran Khan: It's really surprising. It's one of the things that surprised me most about that survey. So if any of your listeners want to go check it out, the survey is called the Berkeley Psychedelic Survey, and we released it in July. And it was a survey of 1500 American voters. So it wasn't the population at large, it was a subset of voters. But that does mean it's 1500 people as demographically representative of the voter population as a whole. And yet 61% said they would support making it easier to have regulated therapeutic access to psychedelics, which is surprising for a few reasons. One is that that 61% is actually higher than the figures that the campaigns in Oregon and Colorado received. So I think those were in the 50s. So the fact that there's this national voter figure showing 61% when there hasn't been a national campaign yet is interesting. And the other reason that it's surprising is that if you we looked at a couple of other issues that have been pulled on for a long time.

0:25:34.3 Imran Khan: So one was same-sex marriage and the other one was cannabis legalization, marijuana legalization, and both of those are now at kind of over 60% support, but it took decades. So I think for same-sex marriage, Gallup has been measuring this for I think almost 50 years and it took literally 20, 30, 40 years of campaigning to get the public from a place of I think one in five people supported legalizing same-sex marriage to get to that 60% figure. And the same for marijuana, it took a long, long, long time of campaigning to get the public to where they are now. Whereas with psychedelics, we don't have historical data, for all we know it could have been higher last year and it's dropped, but the fact that it's already at 61% suggests to me that there's a remarkable public interest and engagement with psychedelics, which is surprising given how recent the so-called resurgence in interest has been.

0:26:33.2 Paul F. Austin: Why do you think that is? Why have we moved so quickly? I started Third Wave in 2015. At that point in time, still a lot of stigma. Michael Pollan's book, and I want to dive a little bit more into Michael and the center at Berkeley and all that, but Pollan's book came out in 2018. And now five years later, it's like there's been this massive shift. Why do you think there's been such a quick and massive shift in the direction of supporting psychedelics?

0:27:04.4 Imran Khan: That's a really great question. I have my suspicions and hunches, which I'll happily speculate on, but I'd love to hear your thoughts as well, actually. So perhaps when I give my two pence, you can chip in. I think there's a couple of things. One is that some of the negative sentiment, whether that's public or political, I think was artificial. I don't think we all know there was a deliberate campaign of government-led anti-psychedelics propaganda. So I think those negative sentiments were probably suppressing a lot of the interest in psychedelics. And once you take that away, which I think has started to happen, perhaps it's easier to rebound than it was for something like same-sex marriage, where actually it took a lot of positive engagement and positive advocacy to move the public from where they were. So that's one very speculative theory I have.

0:28:03.1 Imran Khan: The other one is that although we were in a time when psychedelics were stigmatized, there was still research going on, not least by people like Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins. People were still doing the research, doing the science, publishing, sharing the results. And obviously there was stuff coming up through the underground as well in terms of the practice and people in various ways, "legitimizing" that knowledge to be shared in the public sphere. So I think there's also a case you can tell where ultimately the science won out, that despite the stigma and despite the propaganda, when there's enough research happening, and even if it's just a trickle, eventually it becomes impossible to ignore that even the most fervent anti-voices struggle to argue against the published research. And then that results in books like Michael's book, 'How to Change Your Mind.' And obviously, I think in some ways, I ask him this a lot, why did you write 'How to Change Your Mind?' And he always says he was never on a mission to create a psychedelic renaissance or psychedelic resurgence. He just wanted to tell an interesting story. But I think because of the kind of person he is in terms of his profile, he made a really surprising messenger. And I think he had saliency with a lot of parts of the public that the usual psychedelic messages wouldn't have been able to reach. And it's created this kind of bit of a waterfall effect.

0:29:37.8 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, it's almost like he did a similar thing for the psychedelic movement as what he did for the farm-to-table movement, where with the publication of 'The Omnivore's Dilemma,' he took this very niche thing that was already happening in New York and maybe in San Francisco, and all of a sudden generated this cultural swelling of interest in it where we had documentaries like Food Inc. That came after that. There were a lot of people who started to look specifically at restaurants who were doing farm-to-table. And when it came to psychedelics, it was almost like because of the prohibition, because of the stigma, there was a lot of initial, let's say, top-down energy. There was a lot of research that had to happen. There were certain influential, let's say, podcasters who were starting to openly talk about it. There were other people like Michael who wrote books and helped to destigmatize it. And that almost created this opportunity for the mycelial network, if you will, the underground, to feel more comfortable talking about it in a more public way. Because all of a sudden, there wasn't the same fear of repercussions. Oh my gosh, if I talk about this, the FBI might be listening to me. They might be tapping my phone. They might come and arrest me. All of a sudden, it was like, oh no, we don't have to worry about that anymore because the stigma has shifted.

0:31:03.4 Paul F. Austin: The awareness of the benefits have shifted. And I think what that allowed for is a lot more people just started openly talking about it and sharing with friends and family. Just as an example, it's like I have a really positive experience with working with psychedelics. In the past, I might keep that to myself and maybe only tell a friend or two because I'm worried about what people might think of me. And now, people, they want to share. They want to say, hey, I think this could be a helpful tool. And it just happens to coincide with a mental health crisis where a lot of the modalities that we've relied on are becoming less and less efficacious. And we're looking for not just new drugs, so to say, but I think new paradigms in which to work with those. And I think that's why even what you're doing and helping to create at UC Berkeley is so exciting because just in doing a little bit of research, it feels like the frame that you're taking, even compared to many other academic institutions who are stepping into this field, the frame for UC Berkeley seems very unique in a way.

0:32:12.6 Imran Khan: I hope so. Yeah, I feel like one of the things that attracted me to the Berkeley role is that, there is this focus on the science. There is this kind of questioning mindset that psychedelics produce these incredible effects, on an individual level within communities, at a society level. But fundamentally, there's far more that we don't know about psychedelics than we do. How do we understand the mechanism by which they work in the brain? How do we understand the ways in which we can communicate about the benefits, but also the risks and the downsides more effectively? When it comes to things like training psychedelic facilitators, how do we understand what good looks like there? And it feels like we are kind of venturing into the, and how do we develop best practice. So I feel like one of the things that set Berkeley's research program apart is that we don't actually have, any clinical or therapeutic, research going on.

0:33:29.3 Imran Khan: So, obviously that kind of work is incredibly important, and I'm super glad it's happening in all sorts of different institutions. But at Berkeley, we've decided to focus on basic fundamental research. We're saying that, for instance, we know that psychedelics have these effects in the brain. Can we understand at a cellular level what's actually going on and what the mechanisms are. So that's one thing that I think is kinda pretty unique about Berkeley. And the other one is this commitment to the whole question of public education and societal engagement saying that this research won't be as useful as it could be if it just stays within the academy. How do we work on building on Michael Pollan's work, and supporting journalism, supporting public education, making it accessible to as many people as possible.

0:33:54.6 Paul F. Austin: Which I love how that tracks with your own personal story. Studied science, biology went and did your master's degree in the communication around the sciences. And I feel like that of all the institutions who are focused on psychedelics, I really see Berkeley as that bridge between the academy and let's say broader culture and broader society. And I'm curious, I'm gonna try to tie a couple pieces together here. There obviously is a rich history of psychedelic use in the Bay Area, and we know what happened in the '60s, with this sort of backlash. And so I'm curious how you think the historical past of psychedelics specific to the Bay Area has informed the UC Berkeley approach to the science of psychedelics and the center that's been set up?

0:34:52.1 Imran Khan: That's a great question. And you're completely right that there is this kind of really rich and deep history, just in the geography, of where we are at Berkeley. I've been lucky enough to be able to go to Sasha Shulgin's farm for a couple of events and meet people there and visit Sasha Shulgin's laboratory where he did some so much of his work and that was an amazing experience. But one of the things that I picked up from that is that it's an experience that's shared by a lot of people who work in this space. A lot of the people who are now helping make the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics what it is. Share that history too.

0:35:29.2 Imran Khan: One of our faculty, Professor David Presti, he's been teaching at Berkeley for literally decades. So he's run this kind of incredibly popular course called Drugs in the Brain. Which I think for a lot of the time it's been in existence, it's been the single most subscribed course at UC Berkeley, most of the time.

0:35:54.6 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:35:55.1 Imran Khan: He's always had the biggest lecture theater. I think he's recently been overtaken by a computer science course. So he is now kind of second or third, but it's still pretty impressive. But he's been teaching that course for decades. And one of the things that I've always find lovely is like I go around telling people what I do and what we're trying to do at Berkeley, and often the first thing they ask is, oh, do you know David Presti? I took his course and David was friends with Sasha Shulgin back in the day as well, and wrote a beautiful obituary for him, when he passed recently.

0:36:25.7 Imran Khan: And we just released an online version of David's course. It's called Psychedelics and the Mind. It's an eight module university level free to access course that's available on edX. And a lot of the stuff that David talks about in that course is not just the kind of the neuroscience and the neurochemistry, but also about the social side of this, what was happening in the, kind of the '60s and '70s, and what influence did people like Timothy Leary have. And obviously, he spent time at Berkeley as well as Harvard. So yeah, I kind of, I constantly run into those threads, even as someone who's new to the Bay Area and new to psychedelics, that sense of the Bay Area being, a kind of very particular place where so much of the work has been done is feels very tangible, not to mention the influence of Burning Man and all that stuff that goes on next door.

0:37:21.0 Paul F. Austin: Tell us a little bit about the sort of core principles of the Center for Psychedelics at Berkeley. What's the key mission, the key focus and bring us a little bit more into like, what is the vision as well of the center for the next year, three years, five years, as psychedelics start to really, find their way into the mainstream?

0:37:46.1 Imran Khan: Sure. So our mission is to explore the potential of psychedelics for the benefit of all. And I think, the end of that sentence is really key for us. We believe that there is tremendous potential in psychedelics and that there is much more that we don't know than we do. So doing the research, trying to find the answer to some important fundamental questions is key. But doing so in a way that's open, that's public, where the benefits are shared with as many people as possible, is really core to our ethos. So, we've signed up to the open science principles that say all of our data will be made public. So that emphasis on public benefit and public impacts, from psychedelic research is core.

0:38:30.6 Imran Khan: There's three big things we do. One is research, the second is facilitator training, and the third is this focus on public education journalism. And I think the three really speak to each other. I feel like the research focus is, as I say, on understanding basic mechanisms behind psychedelics. So we know that they work. Do we know how they work? And do we understand the way in which they can help reshape, for instance, neuroscience research? That feels huge unanswered questions to me. In training, we know that psychedelic facilitators and guides are needed, and we know we're going to need tens or hundreds of thousands of them. But do we understand how best to create that future? And I think the answer is there's need for more experimentation and more research there.

0:39:19.9 Imran Khan: So we are running our own training program, but we're also publishing on the findings of that so it can support the rest of the field. And then in public education, I think, for me, it's hard to work in this field and not sometimes be concerned about almost the level of hype and the level of over-enthusiasm that you see sometimes. There is a tendency for it to be easier to speculate about what psychedelics can do and perhaps oversell them than it is to focus on what we actually understand and the nuanced state of the science and the state of the medicine.

0:40:03.5 Imran Khan: So I think partly because we're at Berkeley and partly because that is a brand that people recognize and trust, I'm hoping that we can speak as one of the nations and one of the world's premier public universities and say, here's where the research is now, and here's what we understand, and here are the risks as well as the potential benefits.

0:40:22.5 Paul F. Austin: Let's talk a little bit more about each one of those. And I want to start with the fellowship. So UC Berkeley, as part of its commitment to public education and journalism, I believe has rolled out a fellowship to empower journalists to be able to write about it. Could you tell our audience a little bit about that fellowship, the context around that fellowship, and how it came about and where it currently is?

0:40:45.7 Imran Khan: Yeah, this is a really exciting program. So it's funded by, again, another name that many of your listeners will know, Tim Ferriss. So I think Tim was one of the people that was really influenced by Michael Pollan's book, and him and Michael talked a lot in the early years of the center's founding. And one of the things that Michael's really passionate about, and we all are really passionate about is the importance of journalism to the psychedelic space. So there is absolutely a role for advocacy, there's absolutely a role for formal education, but there also should be a role for people who are somewhat independent, somewhat can sit outside the sector, can cast a kind of independent and maybe even critical eye on what's going on in psychedelics sometimes.

0:41:31.3 Imran Khan: So we support journalism for that reason, and we have this journalism fellowship where people who want to report on psychedelics, understand them more, be able to share what they find with a public audience can apply to us for grants, and we support their reporting. So if there are any journalists listening to this and you want to get money from the center, please do look us up. It's the Ferris-Berkeley Journalism Fellowships of Psychedelics and apply. But I think one of the other things that is hopefully a long-term impact of that is that psychedelics are a really complex field.

0:42:06.5 Imran Khan: There's a huge amount of history and culture and science to understand, and there is a risk that as they become more prominent in society and that they are reported on, they might be reported on by people who don't fully understand the context and don't fully understand the research. So one of the things that we hope is that by supporting an annual cohort of journalists who are reporting on psychedelics, that will create this community of journalists in the future who understand the field well enough to report accurately. And again, that doesn't necessarily mean reporting only the positives, but it does mean that given that context is key for psychedelics, that we're supporting the generation of more psychedelic journalists too.

0:42:53.1 Paul F. Austin: Well, and this appears to be another lesson from the '60s. There was a lot of, as we both know, positive momentum around the clinical research for LSD in particular in the 1950s. And then, of course, the counterculture and Leary and Alpert and Ken Kesey and LSD started to filter out, and there ended up being this media backlash in some ways where they were only reporting then on a lot of these acid casualties, for lack of a better term. And so, initially, when I saw the fellowship that was announced, maybe it was announced 12 to 18 months ago initially when I first saw it, my first thought was, oh, this will be a great way to ensure that doesn't happen again.

0:43:35.1 Paul F. Austin: And then as I thought more about it and the nuance of it, what came to mind was, okay, certainly we want to mitigate or avoid an overemphasis in the media on all of the negative repercussions and consequences. And as you've mentioned already, as we're in this sort of hype cycle, there has been a lot of hyperbole that has found its way into the psychedelic conversation as well. And as I've reflected on it more, it almost seems like the maybe greatest utility of this fellowship is to find that middle way.

0:44:12.3 Paul F. Austin: How do we still emphasize the benefits, believe in the power of these substances to really heal and transform people, but also not necessarily whitewash some of the challenges, some of the people who have had psychotic breaks, some of the folks who maybe have experienced deaths in their family from people who have taken way too many mushrooms and done something that has led to death. I think finding that middle way is important. And there's an element that I see again and again, where the psychedelic sector, if you will, is taking responsibility to self-regulate.

0:44:48.6 Paul F. Austin: And that's both coming from a top-down perspective when it comes to, for example, someone like Tim Ferriss. But there's also this sort of bottom-up movement of really watching out for one another and watching out for the space at large. And as an example of that, even when it comes to providers in the space, there's more and more folks that are willing to talk about, let's say, negative experiences that they've had or unethical providers that they've worked with, which I think is necessary in a space that's still largely illegal, if you will, to help watch out for one another to ensure that these are done safely, effectively and of course ethically.

0:45:31.5 Imran Khan: I think that's completely right. And one of the things I used to work on back in the UK was the whole question of trust, and particularly trust in science. And what is it that makes things like science and research trustworthy? And what are the things that do the opposite? And I see the question of psychedelic journalism through that lens as well, that I feel like for those people in our society that are looking at psychedelics from the outside-in the fact that we are here having these conversations about risks that we're here saying that we need independence, sometimes critical journalism I hope that that will be a signal that this is a sector that can work on the things that aren't perfect yet that can respond to things that go badly. And we're not just trying to pretend that psychedelics are panacea or psychedelics are the answer to everything, or that no harm or no risk can come 'cause clearly none of those things are true.

0:46:28.1 Paul F. Austin: And that brings me to the sort of next question about the facilitator training program 'cause With UC Berkeley coming out, I think it is the first publicly available facilitator training program. I could be mistaken on them, but I don't know yet of any other institutions who have, who are doing their own program and putting their own stamp of approval on that. How do you, as the executive director kind of look at the overlap of the trust that is there with UC Berkeley, the facilitators at your training, and the importance for a strong set of "ethics and moral code" as people move into this space?

0:47:06.5 Imran Khan: Well, I'm really lucky I get to work with some amazing faculty and staff here at Berkeley. So our director of training is professor Tina Trujillo. And she spent, literally years thinking about how to understand best practice in the field, talk to lots of people who've worked in ancestral traditions as well as underground healers, as well as the best practices coming out of science and research to design this training program. So it lasts pretty much a year. It's almost entirely in-person. And it's really focused on advanced professionals. So it's people who have backgrounds and everything from therapy to anesthesiology to general practice. There's a focus on chaplaincy as well.

0:47:54.9 Imran Khan: And it's this idea that as psychedelics become more mainstream, we expect it to have influence in all of these different types of civic and healing and therapeutic domains. So we want there to be leaders in these fields who understand psychedelics, understand psychedelic facilitation and can both use it in their own practice, but also shed a light to others in their professional domains about it. So I think it's hugely exciting. We just graduated our first cohort. They just finished kind of, I think a month or so ago, and we have our next cohort starting this coming weekend. So I'm not sure when the podcast is coming out, but I'm sure that by the time people are listening to this, we'll be well on our way to training our second batch.

0:48:41.5 Paul F. Austin: And can you tell us a little bit more about the structure of that program? The MAPS program is pretty well established, in that, it's for psychotherapists largely who are looking to do MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. CIIS has their own program on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. We have a program ourselves that's much more focused on the coaching side. So for executive coaches, holistic health coaches, life and relationship coaches. So I'm curious, and you mentioned nurses, anesthesiologists, even spiritual leaders who have enrolled. What are the cohort sizes, what's sort of the overall structure of the program? What are some of the core topics and subjects that are covered? And also, how do you look at this difference between, let's say, a facilitator and a guide, or a coach and a guide? In terms of this program that you're offering through Berkeley, are you training people to guide psilocybin experiences or are you training people to facilitate Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy or support on Ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica? How do you look at that sort of lens, I suppose?

0:49:53.9 Imran Khan: Sure. So there's, I think about 25 people per cohort.

0:49:57.6 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:50:00.0 Imran Khan: And I think we've capped it at 30 for now, and that's partly 'cause again, it's in-person. We wanna be able to create that kind of in-depth intimate experience for the learning side. It is authorized by the Oregon Health Authority. So if you graduate from the Berkeley program, you can offer services in Oregon. It's pretty broad base. So there's modules and everything from psychotherapeutic methods, ancestral entheogenic traditions. There's focus on reciprocity, ecological awareness, contemplative science, also bringing in the clinical science and research side. So it's intended to be this really broad base of everything you could want to know about how to do psychedelic facilitation giving you that background so that people can take in the direction that they would like to and that aligns with, again, their existing professional practice.

0:50:57.4 Imran Khan: But I think the question you are asking is interesting as well, because it points me to the fact that we just don't know what the future of this field is gonna look like in term, so many of the practices we have now are based on, ancestral traditions, underground work, things that have been experimented with recently. But there's all these open questions about, well if we are looking just at psychedelic facilitation for instance, how does that differ according to different substances? How does it differ when you look at having group models rather than one-to-one individual models? What is the role of community-based practice as well? We're, again, a year and a bit into delivering this program, and we think it is a great place to start. But I think like gonna sound like a broken record, there's so much more that we don't know about what the future of psychedelic facilitation will look like and the different ways it might come to fruition than we know at this stage. But I would love you to have Tina on. Tina is the person that designed the program.

0:51:54.9 Paul F. Austin: I would love to have Tina and go deep into it. Because I've heard really great things and my lens is, it's a blue sky in many ways a blue ocean for these training programs. There are so many folks who need to be trained in how to work with what I call the skill of psychedelics and how to navigate the intelligence of the different medicines. And my true love is training, teaching education. And anytime I get a chance to go deep on that, I really love to geek out. So...

0:52:32.8 Imran Khan: Well, the other thing I just want to mention actually about the training program is there is a focus on DEI as well. So our first cohort was I think 40% BIPOC and 33% LGBT+, the center as a whole has this commitment to DEI and reciprocity. So 10% of all the funds we raise, go towards DEI and reciprocity work and that's definitely a kind of a strong focus of our program as well.

0:52:55.6 Paul F. Austin: And that brings me to the next question, which we haven't yet talked about funding wise. How does this work? Is it privately funded through UC Berkeley? Is it donor based? Is it a business? So you sell the facilitator training program and that helps to generate revenue. I'm curious kind of the structure of it from a financial perspective.

0:53:21.3 Imran Khan: It's great question. An important question. It's completely philanthropically funded. So literally every single thing we do right now is made possible through the generosity of amazing donors. We get some in-kind support from UC Berkeley. We get things like office space and back office support, but there's no dollars that come from the university. So all of it is from people like Blake Mycoskie, who's funding us to, he helped fund the psychedelic survey. We have support from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation who supported the online course I mentioned. People like, I'm trying to think about Dick Simon funded the microdose which is our newsletter and the training program. There is a small fee for people that take it to register and do it, but that in no way covers the cost of the program. So we're constantly fundraising and constantly trying to find a way to make sure that we can deliver these new insights in Psychedelic Science and research to support training facilitators and to support our public education mission.

0:54:21.8 Paul F. Austin: So for the last like 10 minutes of this podcast, I want to get maybe a little bit more speculative and thinking about the future, and the context I want to set is it will weave together a few themes that we've already discussed, but the core of it is this bill SB58, which I just heard I think yesterday, passed the next round of whatever it needed to pass. It's now going back to the Senate, they expect it to be approved by the Senate and it's slightly new form. And then it'll go on the desk of Gavin Newsom to approve. And that would, from what I understand, decriminalize the possession of most plant medicines, almost in a similar model as what Colorado currently has available.

0:55:06.7 Paul F. Austin: Obviously, this is through the legislature and not through a ballot proposal, so the way it's been passed is slightly different from what I understand, there's some commonalities there. So I'm curious, let's say even if this doesn't pass now, when it does happen, how might this change the landscape of California? How do you look at that as an executive director at UC Berkeley knowing that that might be on the verge of passing, whether it comes to strategy, whether it comes to concerns about overuse of these substances outside of safe containers? How do you sort of look at the overlap of the growing interests of psychedelics specific to California and the role that your center is playing at UC Berkeley?

0:55:50.5 Imran Khan: Sure. Happy to talk about that. You did make me remember one thing I wanted to say as well, you talked about the term plant medicines which I have a little bit of a bugbear with and I'd love to test that with you so maybe we can come back to that.

0:56:00.4 Paul F. Austin: Sure.

0:56:01.6 Imran Khan: But in terms of SB58, yes, there's this long running effort to change regulation in California. And it's been, two steps forward one step back, lots of changes. I think a kind of a high level it won't really affect much the way in which we're working at UC Berkeley. So for instance our faculty director, Michael Silver, is leading this research program where he's going to be administering psilocybin to volunteers, who will then sit in an FMRI machine. So the idea here is to use the visual cortex as a model for seeing how psilocybin affects brain function. So happy to talk more about that research, but the one of the things that's been fascinating to me is just the amount of red tape for that research. So to be able to do that research we need to have authorization from the DEA, from the FDA, and from the California State Research Board as well.

0:57:01.0 Imran Khan: And one of the stipulations of the DEA is that because it's a schedule substance, we need this kind of crazy, literal physical safe on campus at Berkeley to store these tiny, tiny, tiny quantities of psilocybin. And if one single thing changes in terms of the research protocol, you have to go all the way back to the front. And this is all by way of saying that to do the kind of stuff that we want to do, which is research on federally scheduled substances, the relevant legislation, the relevant regulatory environment is the federal law, the national law. So that's one thing.

0:57:36.0 Imran Khan: So the fact that California might change its laws on psychedelics doesn't necessarily change our stance as a federally governed institution. But of course from a public education perspective, it's really important, we've already had bits of California move on their own. So obviously there's places like Oakland, which are decriminalizing psychedelics, there's I think moves in the city of Berkeley to decriminalize as well. And it's not hard to imagine that, that will lead to more people feeling comfortable with trying psychedelics, being wanting to know more about them. So for me, that just highlights the importance of really good, risk communication of safety communication of making it easy for people to understand what are the potential benefits and harms and how do they take good evidence-based measures to protect themselves.

0:58:30.2 Paul F. Austin: And so there's another initiative as well called the Treat Initiative, which I believe is a $5 billion. Would that have more relevance for UC Berkeley, and just more funding potentially for the research you want to do? Or is it also not necessarily relevant to what you're doing as an institution?

0:58:45.7 Imran Khan: No, potentially. Yes. That's really exciting. I think, if that treatment initiative passes, the state of California does set aside these billions and millions of dollars for psychedelic research and medicine and education, I'm hoping certainly that we at UC Berkeley could make a compelling case that our work in trying to understand the nature of psychedelics could be a good way of using some of that funding.

0:59:11.1 Paul F. Austin: So tell us about your bug with plant medicine.

0:59:17.8 Imran Khan: Here's my take on plant medicines, that people use the term plant medicines is somewhat synonymous with psychedelics, and I just don't think they are. So, for instance, something like Ketamine is not a plant, something like LSD is originally derived from fungal compounds, but it's not a plant. Even psilocybin not a plant. There are some psychedelics like bufo that are derived from animals. So this kind of focus on, MDMA is another example, definitely not plant derived. So, A, I think the word plants is immense, implies some nature-based connection, which I don't think is always there. And secondly, the term medicine, and yes, it's true that psychedelics are used as medicines, but they're also used for all sorts of other things. One of the things we found in the psychedelic surveys, the single most common use of psychedelics that people report is recreational. They're also being used in neuroscience research, including here at Berkeley.

1:00:54.1 Imran Khan: They're also potentially sometimes misused. There are some compounds that are called psychedelics again, like Ketamine that can be habit forming. Not that other medicines can't, but I worry that the use of the term plant medicines is meant to cloak psychedelics in this, what could be wrong with plants, what could be wrong with medicines? It's trying to sugarcoat a very complex topic for a broader audience. And I just don't think it's accurate. And I feel like it's, they're far more interesting than just being plants and far more interesting than just being medicines. And I get a little bit frustrated when we try and simplify them.

1:00:54.2 Paul F. Austin: Well, nomenclature is interesting, right? The language that we use to describe things that informs how we actually engage or have a relationship with those things. And what's interesting to know is the original SB58 that the California Senator Scott Weiner was attempting to pass, I think included LSD and Ketamine and maybe even MDMA as part of that. And the agreement that he made was to take those out and only have these natural substances.

1:01:32.7 Paul F. Austin: And those would be ayahuasca, huachuma, I believe, iboga, psilocybin, and the natural form of 5-MeO, 'cause the other thing is there is also a synthetic form of 5-MeO that a lot of people actually use. And in fact, in Colorado, the natural form of 5-MeO is now decriminalized, but the synthetic form is not. So it's an interesting observation that this is the thing, 'cause now it's passed. Those things were taken out. It's only the natural forms that are included and now it's passing. No problem. I'm curious your thoughts on why do you think that is, as someone who has studied science communications and sort of maybe understand some of these complexities of journalism and reporting and getting the word out and changing public opinion. Why would that make a difference in the eyes of lawmakers potentially in the eyes of the public?

1:02:26.1 Imran Khan: So I'm gonna say that I'm probably in the minority here, so don't take this as kind of people should think. It's just what I think. But I think there is this sense that a lot of people have in terms of nature or natural being synonymous with good. And that if something is natural, therefore it's not gonna be harmful. And of course, that's not the case. You look at something like many mushrooms are natural and they're gonna kill you. Things like cancer are natural. That definitely kills you. And there's lots of things that are unnatural, which are really good for us. So things like public health infrastructure or telephony, things that we like definitely are not natural.

1:03:03.1 Imran Khan: But I think there is, particularly when it comes to substances that we put in our body like psychedelics and other medicines, there is this assumption that if it's natural, it's probably safe. I don't think that's necessarily borne out by the evidence. I think it's important that even when substances are natural, that they go through rigorous clinical trials to establish their safety. But I think it's a belief that many people hold. So therefore when you use these terms like, natural plant medicines, it might be an easier sell for the public. I would say the 5-MeO example is interesting because, part of the, as I understand it, the push for people using the synthetic form of 5-MeO is the toad is actually endangered. And that if you go for the natural form, you're potentially pushing an already endangered species into being further endangered. And if the effects of the synthetic and the natural form are equivalent, why wouldn't you use the synthetic non-natural version? And again, I just worry that using terms like plant medicines reinforces that narrative, that the value of psychedelics is that they're plants and their medicines. When again, I think it's a bit more complex than that.

1:04:16.0 Paul F. Austin: And do you sense maybe a word like entheogens would be better? Is there a term that... I know we have psychopathologies I think is another fun one. Anything?

1:04:29.7 Imran Khan: I actually think psychedelics is a great term, again...

1:04:31.0 Paul F. Austin: Stick with the original. Yeah.

1:04:33.3 Imran Khan: Well, just to plug the course again, Psychedelics and the Mind, it's free, it's available on edX. Now, one of the things that David Presti talks about in the course is the literal meaning of the term psychedelic. And he translates that from the Greek as being mind manifesting, which I just think is a really beautiful concept. Psychedelics are substances or experiences which manifest our minds. And I think from the outside, there may be an assumption that things like Ketamine and MDMA and LSD have some kind of similar chemical structure, or they're part of the same drug family, and they're obviously not. They're from very different drug families. They'll operate in very different ways. But one of the things they have in common is that they create this experience, which can be very different in different contexts, but allows us to perceive ourselves in different ways, allows us to understand the brain and the mind in different ways. And I think that it's such a beautiful word, psychedelic mind manifesting, that I feel we should use it more.

1:05:35.3 Paul F. Austin: And maybe that's part of the work in terms of public education through Berkeley, then it's... How can we destigmatize the word itself? 'Cause having been in this space for many years I know one of the early... Especially early on, there was all this talk about how do we change the name? How do we get rid of the name psychedelics? Because there's so much stigma. And I was always of the opinion, as you are, that it's a really beautiful name. It actually has a ring to it. It's very accurate in terms of the mind manifesting. And of course, the Greeks, the word psyche, we contextualize it as mind. They saw there being this relationship between the mind and the soul.

1:06:13.4 Paul F. Austin: So some people even contextualize it as soul manifesting. There's an essence that comes forward through psychedelics that otherwise we are not really able to access because of the egoic mind or whatever frame you want to put on it. So I think that sense of retrieving the power of the word psychedelic and really standing behind it and owning it rather than shying away from it is something that I hope we're able to get to. And then I think with academies and institutions like Berkeley having centers for the science of psychedelics, it's going to go a long ways to help sort of recontextualize public opinion just around that word in and of itself.

1:06:57.2 Imran Khan: We started this conversation with you asking about Denver and Psychedelic Science 2023.

1:07:01.5 Paul F. Austin: Yeah.

1:07:01.6  And you just reminded me of one other thing which stood out is that we had a very small stand on the kind of exhibition hall. And it was... Many of your listeners will be there. It was kind of organized chaos though. Everyone from... People selling mushroom plushies to advertising kind of VR and psychedelics and everything else and we had this very, very low tech stand which was just handing out flyers for our new course and talking to people about our research. So we kind of felt in a funny way a little bit out of place. But one of the things that struck me over and over is that people kept coming up to our stand and wanting to know about us and saying, "Oh, we're so glad Berkeley's doing this." And it manifested to me that actually in a field that still feels like it's kind of growing and changing and almost exploding in interest. There are relatively few institutions like Berkeley, kind of, in a globally recognized research names that are investing heavily in this space and trying to show that this is a real matter of legitimate scientific and public and civic inquiry. And if nothing else, I hope that the rest of society takes us seriously, that organizations like UC Berkeley think that psychedelics are really important and need more attention. And I'm glad that we can contribute to that.

1:08:19.3 Paul F. Austin: This was a pleasure to chat with you today, Imran. We covered a lot. We talked a little bit about your past, your history, how you got into the space with that incredible David Nutt story, and then talked a lot about the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics, about the public education you're doing, the research and the facilitator training. And it was also fun to dive a little bit into linguistics and nomenclature around these words. We dived a little bit into etymology as well, which is always fun. So I appreciate you taking the time to join us for the Psychedelic Podcast. If folks want to learn more about the center website, social, kind of where should they go to check out more?

1:09:08.1 Imran Khan: Yeah, please go to to find out everything from... You can find our bi-weekly newsletter called the Microdose. You can find the online course. You can find our survey results. You can read more about the research. We are @SciPsychedelics on Twitter and Instagram. So find us there and we're on Facebook too.

1:09:29.2 Paul F. Austin: Great. Thank you, Imran.

1:09:30.6 Imran Khan: It's been a real pleasure. Thanks, Paul.


1:09:35.9 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, it's Paul here. I hope you enjoyed our episode today with Imran Khan. Remember to head to the and go deeper into the episode with full show notes, transcripts, and all the links we mentioned in this conversation. That's and scroll to Episode 214 with Imran Khan.


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