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SPEAKERS

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KEN TUPPER, PhD
Professor of Public Health

Kenneth is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. His research interests include drug education, entheogenic education, psychedelics, and ayahuasca.

Kenneth is also the Director of Implementation & Partnerships at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, and previously worked for over a decade doing prevention and harm reduction policy development at the British Columbia Ministry of Health.

In 2006 and early 2007, Kenneth was a resident of UBC’s Green College. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from UBC (2011) and a Masters of Arts degree in Education from Simon Fraser University (2002). He currently a member of the Clinical & Scientific Advisory Board of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies – Canada (MAPS-Canada) and the Advisory Board of the Wasiwaska research centre in Brazil.

ABSTRACT

The scientific study of the psychedelic experience is leading to new understandings of the human mind, novel treatments for a range of mental illnesses, and critical reflections on drug policy. However, the contemporary path to knowledge about psychedelics—in particular the drive to advance quantitative research—may be revealing gaps in the epistemic foundations of modern science itself, and the limits of this mode of knowledge production, both in general and for psychedelic research in particular. While the scientific method is an invaluable way of understanding our world, it is important to consider how its origins, evolution and status may obscure other ways of knowing, which are equally or more important. I will explore how the early modern scientific revolution, characterized by a new approach to measuring, quantifying and calculating empirical phenomena, contributed to dominant modes of knowledge definition and generation that constrain our recognition of what may be most important to learn from the psychedelic experience.