Chacruna Institute Launches New Spring Course - Now Open for Limited Enrollment

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The Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicine’s newest course offering, Critical Perspectives on Knowledge Production in Psychedelic Science, begins January 24. Registration is open now and spots are limited. As psychedelics continue to enter mainstream society, Chacruna’s offerings have pushed conversations in the field forward in essential ways. This course continues that remarkable tradition by featuring instructors with a wide variety of perspectives who are driving conversations in the field.

"I think Chacruna is doing vitally important work- almost no other organizations working in this area are exploring this terrain in as much width and depth as Chacruna." - Previous Student

Through 16 live, virtual weekly meetings over the length of a spring semester, students will gain crucial insights as they explore issues absent from most other programs in the space of inquiry around how, where, and why particular knowledge about psychedelics is produced. By the culmination of the course, they will have a holistic understanding of which methods and inquiries are privileged in psychedelic science, which are marginalized, and which are unrepresented altogether. Classes will focus on questions like: How are certain variables selected in trials? How much value, if any, is assigned to particular forms of subjective experience when we study the therapeutic effects of psychedelics? How does knowledge production differ between the Global North and Global South? How are Indigenous perspectives incorporated into psychedelic research? Students can expect engaging discussions of key questions emerging in the current psychedelic landscape from the humanities to the sciences, presented by a diverse range of expert researchers and practitioners with firsthand knowledge in the field.

Erika Dyck, PhD, member of Chacruna’s Board of Directors and Canada Research Chair in the History of Health & Social Justice at the University of Saskatchewan, will offer the class “The Indigenous and Shamanic Legacies of Psychedelic Science” as part of the course. She notes that the course “is signature Chacruna – informed, provocative, and pushing this field in new directions by paying attention to voices who complicate it.”

Jordan Sloshower, MD, MSc, psychiatrist, researcher and member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants, will offer a class on “Challenges in Trial Design for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies,” relevant for anyone thinking deeply about the future of psychedelic science and medicine. “Beyond discussing methodological issues such as blinding and the use of placebos, the course overall examines the very foundations of psychedelic research and how knowledge is produced across a variety of settings in the global North and South,” he explains.

Anya Ermakova, PhD, psychedelic research and Chacruna board member, will lead the class titled “Does Psychedelic Experience Matter?” Her seminar will explore the role of psychedelic experiences in clinical trials, investigate arguments for and against “non-hallucinogenic” psychedelic therapy, and survey evidence for the effectiveness of microdosing. “Among many recently developed courses and certification programs in psychedelics, Chacruna’s course stands out,” she says.

Why Chacruna?
Chacruna offers a robust, accessible curriculum of multidisciplinary courses, the caliber of which are typically only available through research universities. Chacruna’s commitment to equity and accessibility means that these classes have consistently been affordable and available to anyone curious to learn more about the complex, rich world of psychedelic studies. With this course, Chacruna continues its legacy as a leader in psychedelic science.

Students enrolled in Chacruna courses can expect a graduate program-caliber of excellence, available to any enrollee in a format that will fit into busy schedules. They may also complete additional work – including a final paper that could be published on the Chacruna website – to receive a certificate of course completion.

Critical Perspectives on Knowledge Production in Psychedelic Science is designed for anyone interested in the psychedelic renaissance. Students who are health professionals are also eligible for CE credits. Participants meet weekly on Tuesdays from January 24 through May 9, from 10-12 p.m. PT/1-3 p.m. ET. The course fee is $1,100 US. Scholarships are available on a limited basis. See the full course description and apply here.

About Chacruna Institute
The Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization co-founded by Brazilian anthropologist Dr. Bia Labate and American psychologist Dr. Clancy Cavnar, based in Northern California and with strong ties to Brazil and Mexico. We promote reciprocity in the psychedelic community, and support the protection of sacred plants and cultural traditions. We advance psychedelic justice through curating critical conversations and uplifting the voices of women, queer people, Indigenous peoples, people of color, and the Global South in the field of psychedelic science.

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Lorien Chavez
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