OPEN Foundation

Reimagining Psychedelic Trials

ūü󣬆Tehseen Noorani,¬†PhD (Social Scientist, facilitator of Reimagining Psychedelic Trials working group),¬†Dr. Boris Heifets, PhD (Assistant Professor at the Department of Anaesthesiology, Stanford University) & Katherine Hendy, PhD (Medical Anthropologist & Postdoctoral Fellow)

‚Źį¬†Wednesday 20 September, 8PM CET (7PM GMT, 2PM EST, 11AM PST)

ūüď欆Online (OPEN Community Platform)

Methodological pluralism in psychedelic studies

 

There are multiple ways of thinking about randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with psychedelics. Conventionally, they are approached as a means to establish gold-standard evidence concerning effectiveness and safety. This approach often leads to technical discussions on the challenges involved in designing and conducting such trials. A second way of approaching psychedelic RCTs considers them as an opportunity for gaining a deeper understanding of non-drug phenomena, including placebo effects and limitations inherent to the RCT framework. A third way of contemplating psychedelic RCTs is as the central knowledge-generation machinery of heavily capitalised industrial science. This directs attention towards broader questions, for instance whether the medicalisation of psychedelics can ever truly respect indigenous knowledge practices and traditions, or whether and how to reform drug regulatory systems so that they can accommodate interventions that are more oriented towards therapy than other drug-focused approaches.

In this online event we will discuss how the above issues have come up in our Reimagining Psychedelic Trials (RPT) working group, which has been meeting monthly for approximately 18 months. This interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder group brings together expertise related to psychedelic clinical trials with other methodological approaches to the study of psychedelics. Our diverse backgrounds, concerns, and interests serve as starting points for our discussions, with the aim of sharing not only our perspectives but also our concerns, paradigms, and languages.

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ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Tehseen Noorani, PhD, (Social Scientist and facilitator of Reimagining Psychedelic Trials working group) is interested in the co-evolving epistemic, therapeutic & economic nature of extreme experiences. He is an interdisciplinary social scientist, currently holding research positions in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Anthropology Department at Durham University in the UK. Over the past decade, Noorani has been tracing the renewed scientific and therapeutic interest in psychedelic experiences, exploring implications for theories of psychopathology and approaches to mental healthcare. Weaving together scientific, spiritual, and aesthetic registers, this research is situated in the context of medicalisation in the global North and the ongoing ‘war on drugs‚Äô. He also focusses on methodological issues that arise in the study of psychedelics, particularly through convening the ‚ÄėReimagining Psychedelic Trials‚Äô interdisciplinary working group. Noorani is a part-time scholar-in-residence at Tactogen Public Benefit Corporation and an Ambassador for Fireside Project.¬†

In addition to an active neuroanaesthesia practice, Dr. Boris Heifets, PhD, directs both clinical and basic neuroscience research programs, bridging neuroscience, psychiatry and anesthesiology. His research is focused on deconstructing the neural mechanisms involved in an emerging class of rapid-acting psychiatric therapies, like ketamine, MDMA and psilocybin. His lab investigates these compounds’ neuroplastic potential, and is working to develop therapeutics that are precise, safe, and scalable. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine, and, by courtesy, in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Yale University, M.D./Ph.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed anaesthesiology residency and a neuroanaesthesiology fellowship at Stanford Hospital.

Dr. Katherine Hendy, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and science studies scholar who uses ethnographic methods to investigate how biomedical knowledge produced in different settings–clinics, laboratories, and trials–is taken up by different groups of actors. Dr. Hendy has a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in sociocultural anthropology and a M.A. from the University of Chicago in the social sciences. Her doctoral research ethnographically followed the development of the drug MDMA‚ÄĒbetter known as the recreational drug ‚Äúecstasy‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒas a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. Her research argues that the ‚Äúoutsider‚ÄĚ status of MDMA-assisted therapy makes it a critical site for examining how claims about pharmaceutical safety and efficacy are produced and move between different experimental settings.¬†

WHAT'S UNIQUE ABOUT THIS EVENT?

Attending this online event is an interactive experience, unlike watching a lecture on YouTube or a webinar. You'll have the chance to connect with the speakers directly and ask questions, allowing you to explore the topic in greater depth.

ICPR 2024

DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS

When you choose to attend this event with a one-time donation, 100% of proceeds will be used to provide full scholarship tickets for the members of indigenous communities to attend ICPR 2024! Thank you for supporting diversity initiatives and the OPEN’s nonprofit mission of advancing psychedelic science and therapy.

READY TO ATTEND?

ATTEND FOR FREE AS A MEMBER

Unlock access to this and all exclusive events with leading psychedelic experts and engage in real time through the OPEN Community Membership. Plus, enjoy a community space, a content library, discounts, and more.

ATTEND WITH A SMALL DONATION

Not ready to become an OPEN community member? You can attend this event through a small one-time donation to help support the OPEN Foundation, a leading nonprofit dedicated to advancing psychedelic research since 2007.

Really want to attend but can’t afford a donation? Apply for a one-time free access here.

ALREADY A MEMBER?

To access the OPEN Community Platform, click the button below. The platform not only live streams all events, but also provides direct access to event recordings.

4 October - Online psychedelic Q&A with Rick Doblin (founder and president of MAPS)

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