Ramez Naam is the author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement
MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, is a non-profit research and education organization. They act as a catalyst for rigorous scientific research into the risks and benefits of psychedelics – obtaining funding, designing pilot studies, giving researchers forums to discuss their work, and helping to obtain regulatory approval.
Among other things, they’re working on two FDA approved studies of the clinical use of MDMA (“ecstasy”). The first study is looking at the use of MDMA to help victims of sexual or physical abuse recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recently MAPS added soldiers with PTSD to this study. The second MDMA study is looking at the drug’s power to alleviate fear and anxiety in terminal cancer patients.
In a world where government agencies routinely distort the risks of certain drugs, it’s a pleasure to see research looking at their possible benefits.