Home Stakeholders Health Research Stakeholders Dr. Erika Dyck – Researching psychedelics in Medicine

Dr. Erika Dyck – Researching psychedelics in Medicine

Historical insights and perspectives on the psychedelic renaissance and its potential to address increased mental health burdens

Erika Dyck is a Professor and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the History of Health & Social Justice at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. Her interdisciplinary research brings social sciences and humanities perspectives to scientific and medical subjects. Her work has been published in medical, legal, economic, literary, philosophical, anthropological, and historical venues.

She is the author of several books, including: Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus (Johns Hopkins, 2008; University of Manitoba Press, 2011); Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization and the Politics of Choice (University of Toronto, 2013), which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s award for Canadian non-fiction; Managing Madness: the Weyburn Mental Hospital and the Transformation of Psychiatric Care in Canada (University of Manitoba Press, 2017), which won the Canadian Historical Association Prize for best book in Prairie History; and with Maureen Lux, Challenging Choices: Canada’s Population control in the 1970s (McGill-Queens University Press, 2020).  She is also the co-editor of Psychedelic Prophets: The Letters of Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond (2018); and A Culture’s Catalyst: Historical Encounters with the Native American Church in Canada and Peyote (2016). Erika is the co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Health History/Revue Canadienne d’Histoire de la Santé and the co-editor of a book series on Medical History, and another on the global history of alcohol and drugs, called Intoxicating Histories with McGill-Queens University Press. Erika is also a Board Member of Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plants; and Vice President of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.

Working at the intersections of history of psychiatry and social history of drugs and alcohol, Dyck has been examining the medical and cultural history of psychedelics since 2000. A keen observer of the unfolding changes in regulation, scientific study, and media representations of psychedelics, Dyck has become one of the leading historians working in this area. As a critical voice in this field, her work engages with questions of policy, therapy, and health care economics as she considers what psychedelics may have to offer as rates of mental illness continue to increase.

Further reading:

Listen to this year’s MacLennan Lecture, at The University of King’s College in Halifax, N.S.: “A Psychedelic Resurgence: Lessons from the Past,” delivered by Dr. Erika Dyck, Canada Research Chair in the History of Health & Social Justice, USask. (Nov 17, 2022)

Who coined the term “psychedelic”? 5 questions for historian Erika Dyck” The Microdose with jane c. hu (interview, online), October 24, 2022.

It’s All One Big *US*” Mind, Body, Health & Politics with Host Dr. Richard Louis Miller (interview, podcast), July 26, 2022