Dr. Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vienna’s Department of Science and Technology Studies. She was a visiting researcher at Harvard University, a scholar at the Munich Center for Technology in Society, Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and the list goes on. In general, her research focuses on the sociopolitical dynamics and governance structures of emerging technoscientific fields, with an emphasis on the role of retro-prospective imaginations, regulation, and public engagement. At the time of our conversation, she’s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program in Science, Technology, and Society where she’s currently researching the medicalization of psychedelics in the United States, how regulation shapes psychedelic science, and how science is mobilized to achieve regulatory changes in order to foster the responsible re-integration of psychedelics into society. In this episode we’re going to talk about how we can conceptualize psychedelics within the context of medicine and STS. Specific topics discussed are: the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries and how she developed her concept of “socio-psychedelic imaginaries”; psychedelic decriminalization and grassroots movements mainly in the United States; how psychedelics-as-medicine and psychedelics-as-technology are inscribed with values and beliefs from society; the concept of Self; Claudia’s transformative experiences with Zen Buddhist meditation practices; the misuse of analogies in psychedelic discourse; and the importance of integrating lessons learned from psychedelic experiences into our everyday lives. Also, visit my Podcast Supplements article regarding afterthoughts of Claudia and I's conversation (https://amhouot.com/31-socio-psychedelic-imaginaries-and-the-power-of-analogies-with-claudia-schwarz-plaschg/).
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