Michael Pollan

Acclaimed journalist Michael Pollan appeared at The Progressive Forum to discuss his #1 New York Times bestselling book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. It took place at the Wortham Center, Houston, Texas, on November 9, 2023. This page also features Pollan’s appearance at The Progressive Forum on October 27, 2011, which was also at the Wortham Center, when he discussed his book In Defense of Food: The Omnivore’s Solution.

SHORT: What should we understand about breakthroughs from psychedelics in healing difficult-to-treat conditions like depression, addiction, PTSD, and eating disorders? (4:57)

More Michael Pollan Videos

See video

Q&A. Experience gardening, buying local, diversified farming. 29:11

See video

SHORT. Feeding a growing world population. 4:32

See video

SHORT. What gives you hope? 2:08

See video

Michael Pollan is introduced by Progressive Forum president, Randall R. Morton. 2:22


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 EssaysBest 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 YorkerHarper’s (where he served for many years as executive editor), Mother Jones, Gourmet, VogueTravel + LeisureGardens 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.

Thanks to our 2023 event sponsors Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, and Lisa Gray.

Thanks to 2011 sponsors The Inn at Dos Brisas, Georgia’s Farm to Market, Garland Kerr and Jim Blackburn, Organic Horticulture Benefits Alliance, San Jacinto Environmental Supplies, and Catherine Walsh MD. 



Thanks to videographers:
Ben Doyle, BEND Productions, 2023
Gotham Image Works, 2011

Thanks to photographer CJ Martin

For citing this website as a source: ProgressiveForumHouston.org

Thanks to Michael Pollan for permission to post the event Q&A on our website for his 2011 appearance and the entire program for his 2023 appearance. We welcome visitors to share this exciting educational material. However, to ensure appropriate context, our video segments can only be viewed on this page. The convenient share buttons will enable you to share this entire page.