Saturday, June 2, 2012

Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs

                           Good Day Humboldt County!

I like to explore. Living through the 60s, I joined millions of others in experimenting with everything from marijuana to LSD. Expanding my horizons has always interested me. And I’m not alone.

Taking drugs has always been a controversial subject. Drugs have been used since the dawn of time for many purposes. From medicinal to recreational, drugs have played a part in nearly all societies.

Today I thought it would be fun to look at the influence drugs have had on history’s most influential scientific and technological visionaries:

Is intelligence related to an increased likelihood of recreational drug use? It's an interesting hypothesis, and one that's been gaining momentum in recent years.

If a definitive link between intellectual capacity and drug use does exist, it will likely be sometime before anyone establishes one. Having said that, this much is for certain: history has more than its fair share of experimenting experimentalists. Let's meet 10 of history's most influential scientific and technological visionaries, along with their drugs of choice.”

                             Sigmund Freud — Cocaine10 Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs

To Freud, cocaine was more than a personal indulgence; he regarded it as a veritable wonder drug, and for many years was a huge proponent of its use in a wide array of applications. In a letter written to his fianceƩ, Martha, Freud wrote: "If all goes well, I will write an essay [on cocaine] and I expect it will win its place in therapeutics by the side of morphine and superior to it... I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success."

Freud published such a review, titled "Uber Coca" in 1884. Interestingly, Freud's paper was one of the first to propose drug substitution as a therapeutic treatment for addiction. While replacing morphine with cocaine is something we now know to be counterproductive to recovery, the concept of substitution therapies persists to this day. (For a great overview of Freud's relationship with cocaine, check out this post by Scicurious.)

10 Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs

                         Francis Crick — LSD

Francis Crick — of the DNA-structure discovering Watson, Crick, and Franklin — reportedly told numerous friends and colleagues about his LSD experimentation during the time he spent working to determine the molecular structure that houses all life's information.

In fact, in a 2004 interview, Gerrod Harker recalls talking with Dick Kemp — a close friend of Crick's — about LSD use among Cambridge academics, and tells the Daily Mail that the University's researchers often used LSD in small amounts as "a thinking tool." Evidently, Crick at one point told Kemp that he had actually "perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD." [Image via NYT]

                                                               Go here for more examples

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

1 comment:

Steve Lewis said...

Why, Dave, how could you! I mean I don't see my name listed there as one of the scientific and technological visionaries and I've experimented with drugs, Peyote, LSD, and of course my sacrament, marijuana. I feel so left out..especially when Thom Edison and I share the same birthday and I didn't even ever electrocute an elephant like he did. But I did invent or rather discover the world's best holistic biologically-based social evolution theory, Climax Social Evolution Theory which I'm sure you're familiar with. What? You've never heard of it? Got it in 1975 and was published in two SoHum rags but since I have no official college credentials science news doesn't care. It's like the fact of us psychedelic artists of the '60's being ignored except now for poster collectors. It's the drug onus I tell ya. People just don't get it that the brain will seek alternative states because that is the only way to novel conclusions.

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