The author of several #1 New York Times bestsellers, Michael Pollan returns to The Progressive Forum to discuss his book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Thursday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m. CT. at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater.
Pollan’s books will be on sale, and he will sign books at the evening’s conclusion.
Reserved seats are $45 and $70, and $150 tickets include a reception with the speaker. Tickets are available online at ProgressiveForumHouston.org, and at 800-514-3849 Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. They will also be available at the door on event night (card transactions only).
Cash bar and dinner service are available in the Wortham’s Grand Foyer prior to the show at 6 p.m. when building doors open. Cullen Theater doors open at 7 p.m.
The event is generously sponsored by Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, as well as Lisa Parris.
“Responsible use of psychedelics is making breakthroughs in healing conditions like PTSD, depression, and addiction,” said Progressive Forum founder Randall Morton. “I hope our high-profile event encourages adaptation in our medical center establishment.”
Michael Pollan last appeared at The Progressive Forum October 27, 2011, in a program called “In Defense of Food: The Omnivore’s Solution.” The recording of the Q&A is at ProgressiveForumHouston.org/speaker/Michael-Pollan.
About How to Change Your Mind
When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction, and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.
A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan’s “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.
About Michael Pollan
For more than 30 years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: On our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds. Pollan is the author of eight books, six of which have been New York Times bestsellers; three of them, including How to Change Your Mind, were immediate #1 New York Times bestsellers. He also hosts a Netflix four-part documentary, “How to Change Your Mind.” A few of his other books include Cooked (2013), Food Rules (2009), In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008), and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006), which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by both The New York Times and The Washington Post. In 2021, he published a book titled This Is Your Mind on Plants.
Pollan’s essays have appeared in many anthologies, including Best American Essays, Best American Science Writing, and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. In addition to publishing regularly in The New York Times magazine, his articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s (where he served for many years as executive editor), Mother Jones, Gourmet, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Gardens Illustrated, The Nation, and The New York Review of Books.
In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. In 2017, he was appointed Professor of the Practice of Non-fiction at Harvard and the university’s first Lewis Chan Lecturer in the Arts. In 2020, along with Dacher Keltner and others, he co-founded the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. In 2010, he was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Pollan, who was born in 1955, grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Bennington College, Oxford University, and Columbia University, from which he received a master’s in English. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer.