Stop! Don’t take that pill. At least, not until you have read its description, effects classification, chemical structure, alternative names, and the personal testimonies of several other curious or tortured souls who have tried it before. “Great!” you think. “But how do I get my hands on that information? Where does this treasure trove of wisdom reside...?” You might find the answers to these questions and more at erowid.org, a member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information on substances ranging from herbal remedies and over the counter medications to psychedelics and more.
An in-depth resource for medical professionals and inquiring college kids alike, Erowid “works with academic, medical, and experiential experts to develop and publish new resources, as well as to improve and increase access to already existing resources.” Its renown is growing, and it came about through the vision of its founders, Earth and Fire, the Northern California couple who run the site with a lean staff (and many volunteers). Join Matt Segall for this rare opportunity to hear Earth and Fire talk about the origins and history of Erowid, their personal stories and backgrounds, where their work is headed, and what the hype is all about.
Fire is Executive Director of Erowid Center and Head Archivist of Erowid.org. She is the site's primary information architect, designer, and editor. Fire has been studying psychoactive plants and drugs for over 20 years. She has written thousands of pages of information about these materials, authored numerous articles, received multiple awards, spoken at academic and professional conferences, and has had her work cited by newspapers, education programs, college classes, and seminars around the world.
Earth is Erowid Center's Technical Director and the Chief Software Engineer of Erowid.org. He designs and implements the custom software systems necessary for managing the large flow of information through the site and is the lead editor responsible for scientific information published by Erowid. Earth has worked in the field of psychoactive information distribution for over 20 years and has written extensively on the topic. He has co-authored academic posters, been published in both large and small publications, and been interviewed by major news organizations about his work.
Matthew Tarnas Segall, PhD, teaches in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author of Physics of the World Soul: The Relevance of Alfred North Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism to Contemporary Scientific Cosmology (2016), The Re-Emergence of Schelling: Philosophy in a Time of Emergency (2014), and several other books and essays on a variety of topics ranging from economics and ecology to transpersonal psychology, psychedelics, and religious studies.