Mescaline: A Global History Q&A with Mike Jay

Mike Jay is one of the world’s leading historians of science, medicine, drugs and consciousness. His latest book, Mescaline: A global history of the first psychedelic (Yale University Press, due May 2019), traces mescaline’s many lives: from the ancient use of San Pedro and peyote to the origins of the Native American peyote rite, its first encounters with Western science, the laboratory synthesis of mescaline in 1919, and the century of modern engagement with psychedelics that has spanned art, psychology, spirituality, medicine and culture. This Q&A session will explore these remarkable and little-known stories, and the challenges Mike faced in researching and writing mescaline's panoramic history.

Mike Jay has written widely on the history of science, medicine, drugs and consciousness. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal and the Literary Review. He has curated two major exhibitions at Wellcome Collection, and Brilliant Visions: mescaline | art | psychiatry, which accompanies his book, is running this summer at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind.