Mark Gallagher

Ronald Sandison, LSD and the ‘Beyond Within’ Powick Hospital

Drawing upon untapped sources in Dr Ronald Sandison’s collection of papers at the Wellcome Library, Mark’s talk will locate the birth of the LSD Clinic in psychogeographical and geopolitical contexts, arguing that landscape and the ancient needs of myth and war shaped the emergence of LSD as a therapeutic tool, as much as the pursuit of scientific and medical progress. By seeing the history of LSD therapy through the eyes of one its forgotten pioneers, the talk will unearth some of its hidden histories and consider what we might learn from the past in our efforts to understand the present ‘psychedelic renaissance’.

Dr Mark Gallagher is an historian of madness who completed his PhD research in 2017 on the history of collective action by psychiatric patients in Scotland. Recently he has been exploring the career of Dr Ronald Sandison and the clinical use of LSD in the 1950s and 1960s, supported by a Wellcome Trust Research Bursary.