Ongoing Projects

From 2023 to 2026, I will be on a collaborative project titled  “Preparing for the Psychedelic Renaissance: Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Neuropharmacology in Psychotherapy,” which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). My co-PIs are Dimitris Repantis (Charité Berlin), Jan Christoph Bublitz (University of Hamburg), Sascha Benjamin Fink (University of Magdeburg), and Torsten Voigt (RWTH University Aachen). My own work package "Psychedelic Research & Development after the Crisis of Psychopharmacology" departs from the observation that, since 2010, most major pharmaceutical corporations have cut back or eliminated their neuroscience departments because they had failed to bring to market any significantly new psychiatric medications in the preceding three decades. At the same time, psychedelic therapies made a comeback and have been presented as a way out of this crisis of neuropsychopharmacological research and development. Drawing from Science & Technology Studies, we examine how psychedelic therapists address the presumed causes of the crisis and how medicinal chemists design novel psychedelic compounds to enhance therapeutic outcomes. Here, the focus is on a controversy over the question of whether the psychedelic experience is necessary for clinical improvements or whether it should be considered a potentially eliminable side effect of psychedelic-induced increases in neuroplasticity, and whether psychedelics can only be used as catalysts of psychotherapy or whether they could be redesigned to serve traditional pharmacotherapeutic interventions without psychotherapy. These questions have significant implications for how widely and at what cost psychedelic therapies might be applied and to what extent they will shape the future of psychiatry. I have outlined this terrain in article titled "Psychedelic Innovations."

I am also working on a book project that examines ethical and moral implications of the uses of psychedelics. Our co-authored article "Moral Psychopharmacology Needs Moral Inquiry: The Case of Psychedelics" provides a framework for this project.

Part of my work at the Psychedelic Humanities Lab is to articulate a vision for the humanities in the psychedelic renaissance, a development that has primarily been driven by biomedical research.

I am also interested in the historical epistemology of diversity. This research builds on my article "The moral economy of diversity: How the epistemic value of diversity transforms late modern knowledge cultures" (with Clemente de Althaus).