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Watch > Episode > Amanda Feilding - Pioneering Psychedelic Research and Advocacy

Amanda Feilding - Pioneering Psychedelic Research and Advocacy


In the realm of consciousness exploration and psychedelic research, Amanda Feilding stands as a trailblazer, fearlessly pushing boundaries and challenging societal norms. As a visionary psychonaut and founder of the Beckley Foundation, Feilding has dedicated her life to advancing our understanding of psychedelics and advocating for their therapeutic potential. This London Real episode delves into the remarkable journey of Amanda Feilding, exploring her contributions, challenges, and the lasting impact she has made in the field.

Amanda Feilding, born in 1943, was drawn to the mysteries of the mind from a young age. Her early encounters with altered states of consciousness sparked a lifelong curiosity about the human mind’s potential. Inspired by experiences with psychoactive substances and the writings of pioneers like Aldous Huxley, Feilding embarked on a journey that would shape her into a prominent figure in the psychedelic research community.

In 1998, Amanda Feilding founded the Beckley Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to scientific research into psychoactive substances and the reform of global drug policies. The foundation operates at the intersection of science, policy, and advocacy, with a mission to explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, challenge misconceptions, and drive evidence-based drug policy reform.

Under Feilding’s leadership, the Beckley Foundation has been at the forefront of groundbreaking psychedelic research. The organisation collaborates with leading scientists, researchers, and institutions to conduct studies exploring the effects of psychedelics on the brain, mental health, and consciousness. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the foundation seeks to unravel the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA.

Amanda Feilding’s advocacy extends beyond scientific research to championing sensible and evidence-based drug policies. Recognising the societal stigma surrounding psychedelics, she has tirelessly worked to reshape public perceptions and influence policy decisions. Her efforts emphasise harm reduction, public education, and the acknowledgment of psychedelics as powerful tools for mental health and personal growth when used responsibly.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in psychedelic research, often referred to as the “psychedelic renaissance.” Amanda Feilding’s work aligns seamlessly with this resurgence, as scientific studies continue to validate the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her advocacy has played a pivotal role in bringing these substances out of the shadows and into the realm of legitimate scientific inquiry.

Amanda Feilding’s journey has not been without challenges and controversies. In a landscape historically marked by taboos and misinformation, she has faced scepticism and resistance. However, her unwavering commitment to scientific rigour, coupled with a deep belief in the transformative potential of psychedelics, has propelled her forward despite the obstacles.

Amanda Feilding’s legacy extends beyond her individual achievements. The Beckley Foundation, under her guidance, continues to be a driving force in advancing psychedelic research and shaping progressive drug policies. As the world increasingly recognizes the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Feilding’s pioneering work is likely to have a lasting impact on the way society views and utilises these substances.

Amanda Feilding’s life’s work epitomises the intersection of science, advocacy, and personal exploration. As a visionary leader in the field of psychedelic research, she has not only expanded our understanding of the mind but has also played a crucial role in reshaping societal attitudes toward psychoactive substances. Amanda Feilding stands as a beacon in the ongoing journey to unlock the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and promote responsible, evidence-based approaches to drug policy reform.

Amanda Feilding is changing the conversation and perhaps is one of the most exciting guests relating to the field of drug reform that we’ve had on the show. Your mind will be blown, don’t miss it!


00:00 | Trailer
01:25 Brian’s thoughts on the episode
05:18 Brian’s Introduction
06:20 A life directed towards the quest of altered states of consciousness for the benefit of the individual and society11:26 The war on drugs is a disaster for human happiness
15:50 Its a language problem
18:14 Problems with obtaining drugs for approved research
20:33 Drug research, tiring but not thankless work
23:08 Knowledge gained from the Psilocybin study
29:49 Perceived benefits of MDMA for trauma cases and use in psychotherapy
33:38 What the sacking of Professor David Nutt said about drug policy and politics
36:10 How the intellectual battle in the war on drugs was won
40:51 Power of politics effects of the drug policy
43:08 Amanda Feilding’s bucket list for future study
46:34 How growing up at Breckley Park shaped her
48:24 What it is like to be a Countess
50:06 Why Amanda Feilding would like to support research into the possible benefits of trepanning
56:24 Success secrets
57:22 A need for funding for further research
1:01:10 The psychedelic closet
1:02:29 Phone call to the 20 year old Amanda Feilding
1:03:06 Two interesting pieces of advice she received
1:05:08 What she thinks drug policy will be in 50 years
1:08:32 Advice to 20 year old who would like to help move drug policy and knowledge forward
1:10:54 Why are we so scared of our own consciousness
as humans
1:15:05 Dealing with the ego
1:16:32 Modern society takes science seriously
1:17:32 Brian’s summing up.


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