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2022 Christmas Lecture – A festive trip through the history, and future clinical applications of psychedelics.

December 6, 2022 @ 18:00 20:30

The Liverpool Neuroscience Group invites you to join us for a festive trip through the cultural history and future clinical applications of psychedelics.

This event is open to all of Liverpool’s neuroscience research community, and will be followed by an informal drinks reception.

Talks from 18.00 – 19.30

Drinks Reception 19.30 – 20.30


Psychedelic Ripples: The cultural significance of psychedelics in the UK
Prof. Harry Sumnall
Professor in Substance Use – Public Health Institute, LJMU
[expand title=”Abstract”]

Psychedelic drugs have been used globally for millennia, yet evidence for a tradition of use in countries like the UK remain sparse. From the perspectives of art, music, and other culture, psychedelic drugs may have a significance and impact that extends beyond the minority of the population that has experience with them.  More recently,  the so-called ‘psychedelic renaissance’ and popular discussion of findings from early phase clinical studies has also brought much attention to the aetiology of mental illness and other health behaviours, and what it means to be ‘well’. The talk will also briefly consider how findings of clinical research have been communicated, and how this might affect public understanding of psychedelics , and whether the ‘hype’ of the ‘psychedelic renaissance’ can be maintained. The talk will end with a brief reflection on the commodification of the psychedelic experience with reference to practices such as microdosing and the relationship between scientific research and private investment.


Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy – an overview of indications, risks, rationale, and explanatory mechanisms
Dr Jake Hawthorn

Addiction Psychiatrist – NHS Lothian
Member of Medical Psychedelics Working Group at Drug Science

[expand title=”Abstract”]

Psychedelic-assisted therapy has been showing significant promise over the past decade in clinical trials across a range of difficult-to-treat disorders such as treatment-resistant depression, addiction and PTSD. This ‘psychedelic renaissance’ has brought psychedelic therapy to the brink of legalisation and medicalisation, with MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD expected to be the first treatment licensed in the US in 2024. It is thought that psilocybin (or a synthetic, patented analogue) could be available for prescription in the UK from as soon as 2025.  

This talk will look to answer the following questions:

– what are psychedelic drugs and what are their effects on humans?

– what is psychedelic-assisted therapy, how does it work, and what does it work for?


*Working Title


December 6, 2022
18:00 – 20:30
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Liverpool Neuroscience Group
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Liverpool School Of Art & Design, 2 Duckinfield Street
Liverpool, Merseyside L3 5RD United Kingdom
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