Psychologist Susan Blackmore on taking drugs for inspiration

susan_blackmore.jpgPsychologist Susan Blackmore has written an article for the Daily Telegraph, arguing that taking drugs has provided inspiration for her work.

So can drugs be creative? I would say so, although the dangers are great – not just the dangers inherent in any drug use, but the danger of coming to rely on them too much and of neglecting the hard work that both art and science demand. There are plenty of good reasons to shun drug-induced creativity.

Yet, in my own case, drugs have an interesting role: in trying to understand consciousness, I am taking substances that affect the brain that I’m trying to understand. In other words, they alter the mind that is both the investigator and the investigated.

She discusses her experience with a range of drugs, including cannabis, LSD, ketamine and MDMA and examines the influence on her own career choices and insights.

Interestingly, she’s taking part in a debate at the Cheltenham Science Festival on whether using drugs can tell us anything about ourselves, with neuroscientist Colin Blakemore and author Mike Jay.

Lets hope the irony of Cheltenham Science Festival being sponsored by a major pharmaceutical company won’t be lost on the panel.

Link to article I take illegal drugs for inspiration.

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