A podcast capturing the stories of scientific brilliance. For a long time, science podcasts have been about DrySci (“Dry science”). It relates topics at too high a level or too generalistic. We aim to change that by bringing the stories of the people, their motivations and specifically the struggles and glories of stories past that will seek to reinvigorate, rejuvenate and respect the minds before the results. This podcast is an effort to soothe that incurable itch in your brain. We ask questions that you always to ask the experts but always had to polite and keep it to the science.
#TwitterSpaces Live Q&A session on #WarOnDrugs, June 18, 2021 4 PM US ET
Tomorrow, it is the 50th anniversary of the war on drugs. But we know the evidence collected since has shown that prohibition has only increased the problems. Join us for a session with experts for a live Q&A on Twitter Spaces.
How do you get access to Twitter Spaces session:
Join Twitter, Follow Arun, JoJo and SKRAPS. You will see a purple logo at the top when it is time for the session.Alternately, skip steps 2 and 4, by clicking on this link, set a calendar reminder - https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1mnxealWOkQxX?s=20
Episode 5: Psychedelic Pharmacology - The Basics!
We’ve spent some time already on the definition of psychedelic - and we’ll spend more time before this series is over. But, Skraps is a podcast whose roots are run deep in the sciences, we couldn’t ignore the topic of the basic pharmacology of psychedelics. This episode is a primer for citizen scientists and holds some intriguing information for the bonafide scientists among us.
As always, we don’t just deliver science, we are going to start with core science and intertwine the stories of the people who made the discoveries - ultimately ending with an understanding of how psychedelics work. We’ll feature the work of Dr. Joanna Neill, a pharmacologist and Chair of the Psychedelics Working Group for Drug Science UK. Dr. Bryan Roth also joins us; Bryan is a professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina studying psychedelics with a pretty serious DARPA grant.
For a special treat, you’ll get to hear JoJo absolutely butcher some basic biology and pharmacology terms. Please DM Arun and let him know that you’d like to get the bonus out-takes of PsychedeRx.
Episode 4: Oh, LSD! My Problem Child
“Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow knows!”
But seriously - who knows? And are the men evil? Or is it their hearts? Or is it the means that they employ? Can their cause serve as cover? Can there be righteous justification for some of the horrendous things done in the name of self-preservation?
In the short gap between World War II and the Cold War, America was battling new enemies, both foreign and domestic. How could that be? How could the superpower that conquered the Nazis and fought off attacks from the Pacific suffer internal moral and ethical turpitude?
Fear. Fear causes people to do amazing and improbable things. Fear of an enemy, fear of an unknown. They are powerful motivators and ones that Syndey Gottlieb embraced with every fibre of his professional being. The same man whose family would have been Nazi victims engaged in some of the most insidious “experiments” known to man - experiments based on the knowledge and tutelage of the same Nazi scientists who deployed the gasses that would have killed his own family.
Join us as New York Times reporter and prolific author, Stephen Kinzer introduces us to the most diabolical personalities of the psychedelic journey to date. This episode includes nothing short of the best Bourne thriller - with murder, mayhem, science, spies, brainwashing, and oh so much more.
And then… let’s bring in Mr. LSD himself, Dr. Timothy Leary.
All of this came to a pinnacle, and contributed to the 1971 war on drugs. Join us as we explore paranoia, brutality, recklessness and glorification of recreational use led to where we are today.
Episode 3: The Doors Are Blown Open
Drug discovery doesn’t happen in a vacuum. So much of the world’s geopolitical activities affect what happens both inside and outside of the lab. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide was such a curious drug that there were seemingly no limits to how and when it would be tested. Episode three of PsychedeRx kicks off with an LSD-laden military training exercise. Don’t laugh. It really did happen and we have the tapes to prove it. All in the name of science, right?
We bring back Mike Jay from Episode Two to bring some of the highlights from the lab of Albert Hoffman and how his cult-favorite bicycle “trip.” A day now celebrated around the world. We’ll see how Sandoz, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, passed out LSD to psychiatrists around the world in an attempt to find out just what the heck this chemical could really be used for - including as a possible cure for alcoholism.
As always, we want you to listen in and ask the hard questions. Were these incidents that shaped the reputation and the future of these substances use or misuse? Were they inherently bad, or was it their handling that earned the demonized notoriety?
Hoffman's Potion Documentary Link: CLICK HERE
Episode 2: Mescaline: The OG of Psychedelics
Peyote crosses the border and causes a riot. Drug companies want their taste, and psychedelics reach the social elite. What could possibly go wrong?
In episode two of PsychedeRx, Peyote comes north to the good old US of A. And it’s not just for religious ceremonies anymore, either. Spanish conquistadors and European explorers, seeking to dominate the indigenous tribes, used Peyote to show force by banning its use and denying the tribes their spiritual practices. And we all know what happens when prohibitions are imposed - the use doesn’t stop, it just gets moved underground. James Mooney, an ethnographer dispatched by the Smithsonian Institute, is one of our best resources for this era. He committed to his diary first-hand accounts of the use of and backlash against peyote in tribal rituals.
As Peyote moved north, albeit underground, it became the catalyst for a series of events that were bloodier than an episode of Dexter. Wovoka and the Ghost Dance were the turning point. The execution of Sitting Bull led to the massacre at Wounded Knee - and it was all over peyote and freedom of religion - ain’t that an ironic twist?
Episode two also sheds light on the earliest interventions of the drug companies like Merck and Parke-Davis and their part in our little psychedelic drama. Arthur Heffter separates the resins from the alkaloids and isolates the first real information on dosing. We get a close-up look at how the psychiatrists and psychologists got involved - where they got it right, and where they got it all wrong. Psychedelics also make their way into the world of the social elites through folks like Aldous Huxley and Ken Kesey.
We’ll close out this week with our first peek at LSD. So remember to “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.”
Episode 1 - Psychedelics: The Fun, The Fantastical & the Facts!
Where were you on June 18, 1971? Did you know that was when Richard Nixon, the United Nations, and other world leaders changed the course of popular culture, scientific experimentation, and mind exploration for the next five decades? Did you know that substances that have the potential to change the way we treat myriad diseases and conditions - ones that have little or no reliable treatments today - were fated on that day to be imprisoned like Hannibal Lecter?
Join us for the first of a series of Skraps Original episodes as we explore the use, misuse, and history of psychedelics. In this episode, we will cover the most important question of what these substances are, and begin to question why they were lumped in with other addictive substances by exploring the history of how curiosity-induced exploration on one side clashed with religious single-mindedness. This manifested itself in how these plant-based substances were viewed then and for centuries later, in the eyes of the western world.
PsychedeRx will cover the ancient history of plant-based psychedelics including their religious, ceremonial, tribal uses and the dangers imposed by the European views of those uses. We’ll experience murder, mayhem, executions, displacement, and more. We’ll talk to psychedelic historian Mike Jay to get the full story of the full journey - one that started long before Nixon and other world powers set their limited, short-sighted fear loose upon the world.
Subscribe to SKRAPS on your favorite podcast platform to make sure you don’t miss a minute of this riveting journey.