Monday, June 17, 2013

Dr. Miller Interviews Dr. Dennis McKenna

Dr. Miller Interviews Guest: Dr. Dennis McKenna, world renowned ethnobotanist and neuroscientist, on his most recent book The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss.

Dr. Dennis McKenna is an ethnopharmacologist who has studied plant hallucinogens for over forty years. Outside of scientific circles he is best known as the brother of Terence McKenna, a cultural icon in the psychedelic community. Together they are co-authors of The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching and Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide: A Handbook for Psilocybin Enthusiasts

Their unanticipated encounters with alien mysteries while searching for exotic hallucinogens deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest had a profound impact on their lives, and on late twentieth century culture. In Brotherhood of The Screaming Abyss, Dennis further explores the complexity of ideas that the two brothers shared, and the peculiar obsessions that led them into some of the strangest uncharted territory ever plumbed by two questing minds. This book is Dennis’ personal story of their intertwined lives.

Dennis McKenna’s professional and personal interests are focused on the interdisciplinary study of ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He received his doctorate in 1984 from the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral research focused on ethnopharmacological investigations of the botany, chemistry, and pharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two orally-active tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon.

He received post-doctoral research fellowships in the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health, and in the Department of Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine. In 1990 he joined Shaman Pharmaceuticals as Director of Ethnopharmacology, and relocated to Minnesota in 1993 to join the Aveda Corporation as Senior Research Pharmacognosist. He has been an adjunct Assistant Professor at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota since 2001, where he teaches courses in ethnopharmacology and botanical medicine. He has taught summer field courses in Peru and Ecuador, and has conducted ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit scientific and educational organization focused on the investigation of the potential therapeutic applications of psychedelic medicines.

No comments:

Post a Comment