Can Psychedelics Save Us From Ecological Disaster?

Dr Sam Gandy works on the cutting edge of psychedelic research, as Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Beckley Foundation, and as a collaborator with the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London. Having a lifelong love of nature, an academic background in ecological science and a strong interest in psychedelics, his talk will focus on the capacity of psychedelic substances to enhance human-nature connection, and the implications this has for human well being and the biosphere at a time of growing disconnection and ecological destruction.

Psychedelic experience has been found to result in enduring long-term increases in one’s connection to nature. Studies show that a strong connection to nature has a broad range of health protective and restorative effects for the individual. These include lower anxiety levels, improved vitality, happiness, and psychological well being, as well as an increased sense of meaning.

The degree of nature connection has also been found to strongly predict pro-environmental behaviours and attitudes. Given that it is widely considered we have entered a mass extinction event solely due to human actions on the biosphere, could psychedelics power at (re)connecting us to the natural world play a role in healing not just ourselves, but the biosphere at large?

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