:: Harvard Psilocybin Project
Begun by Dr. Timothy Leary and Dr. Richard Alpert, the Harvard Psilocybin Project was a series of loose experiments in psychology conducted by Leary and Alpert. The experiments began some time in 1960 until March of 1962, when other professors in Harvard's Center for Research in Personality raised concerns about the legitimacy and safety of the experiments in an internal meeting. These concerns were then printed in the Harvard Crimson, and the publicity that followed resulted in the end of the official experiments, investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (which was dropped), and eventually led to Leary's and Alpert's firing.
Leary's and Alpert's experiments were part of their large personal discovery and advocacy of psychedelics. As such, their use of psilocybin and other psychedelics ranged from the extremely academically sound and above board Concord Prison Experiment, in which inmates were given psilocybin in an effort to reduce recidivism, to frequent personal use. At the time only Mescaline and the Peyote cactus were illegal; it would be five years until LSD and psilocybin were made illegal. Both Leary and Alpert had been rising academic stars until their battles with Harvard; these battles and their advocacy of the use of psychedelics made them major figures in the nascent counterculture.
Do you know something we don't? Contact us!