We invite you to be a part of this full day of ethnobotanical knowledge sharing and discussion on psychedelic plants & culture. It will be an indoor community gathering made up of keynote lectures, panel discussions, workshops and market space. EGA is a not-for-profit educational organisation that exists to provide opportunities for critical thinking about psychedelic plants and related compounds. Help us share the seeds.
Monica Gagliano - Imagining the New World: Science and the Mind of Plants. Synopsis: From ancient myths and legends to enchanting tales and modern blockbuster movies, humanity has recounted thousands of stories where an apparently aloof and motionless vegetal world promptly comes to life to voice opinions, foretell the future, whisper words of comfort, sing and at times, even scream. What if these stories were more than the fruit of our vivid imagination?
Monica is a research associate professor in evolutionary ecology and former fellow of the Australian Research Council. She is now based at the University of Sydney as a Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute and a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. In the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, she has established the brand new BI Lab–Biological Intelligence Lab as part of the Diverse Intelligences Initiative of the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Though she began her career by studying animal behaviour, she quickly turned her attention to plant behaviour and cognition.
Over the last decade, she has blazed the trail for a brand new field called plant bioacoustics, showing that plants do make sounds; and by demonstrating experimentally that learning is not the exclusive province of animals, she has re-ignited the discourse on plant subjectivity and ethical and legal standing. Her studies have led her to author numerous groundbreaking scientific articles and to co-edit The Green Thread: Dialogues with the Vegetal World (Lexington Books, 2015), The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy and Literature (Minnesota University Press, 2017) and Memory and Learning in Plants (Springer, 2018). Her research transcends the view of plants as the objects of scientific materialism and encourages us to rethink plants as people–beings with subjectivity, consciousness, and volition, and hence having the capacity for their own perspectives and voices.
Frances Bodkin - The Importance of Associations Between Australian Native Plant Species. Synopsis: In her talk, Fran Bodkin will introduce the four aspects that she views as essential to the botanic sciences, balancing both traditional Western science (experimentation and measurement) with Aboriginal science (observation and experience). Considering these four aspects - integrating stories from Aboriginal science as well as her extensive background in traditional Western science - Fran will discuss her recent research into Australian native plant and fungi associations, an area that she says has been largely overlooked in the environmental sciences.
Aunty Fran Bodkin is an Elder descendant of the D'harawal people of the Bidiagal clan of NSW, keeper and educator of Aboriginal knowledge, and respected scientist and botanist well known for her dedication to the environment and Aboriginal culture. She has worked tirelessly to teach traditional 'Science' and enable a deeper understanding of how to care for our natural environment. Fran holds degrees in Environmental Science, Geomorphology and Climatology, and is author and illustrator of ‘Encyclopaedia Botanica: The Essential Reference Guide To Native And Exotic Plants In Australia’ (which covers more than 11,000 plants and at the time of publication was the biggest book ever written and illustrated by one person). Fran has also published three books on D'harawal culture, stories and natural resources.
Aunty Fran works tirelessly with groups as young as pre-school age right through to adult learners, sharing ethno-scientific knowledge passed down by traditional clans and which is being increasingly referred to by modern research, in order to promote a deeper understanding of how to care for our natural environment. The knowledge through her degrees and that which has been passed down through her Aboriginal mother has provided Aunty Fran with a holistic approach to the environment.
Martin Williams - The "Entourage Effect". Synopsis: The “Entourage Effect” was proposed in 1998 to describe possible synergies among the many chemical components present in the cannabis plant to amplify its pharmacological effects. It seems reasonable to extend the concept to explain the diverse experiential and physiological effects of cannabis, which (presumably) are intimately related to its pharmacology. But can we then apply it to the effects of other psychoactive plants and fungi such as psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline-containing cacti, plants containing N-methylated tryptamines, and iboga? And then, given our limited understanding of the brain-mind-body relationship and the effects of these various agents on their delicate balance, could we then argue against the use of purified (or even synthesised) single compounds to alter consciousness and treat mental health conditions? This talk will walk us through the main concepts and then examine some further-reaching implications of the fascinating Entourage Effect.
Dr Martin Williams is a research fellow in Medicinal Chemistry at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is founding (2004) & current Vice-President of EGA, founding (2011) & current President of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine (PRISM), and Scientific Officer with the newly established charity, Mind Medicine Australia.
Charly Bedrossian - Cannabis Cultivation: Reach for Higher Quality Standards. Synopsis: In his presentation, Charly will offer advice on the safe use of recreational and medicinal cannabis while also educating the public about the many industrial applications of the hemp plant.
Charly Bedrossian is a representative of the Cannabis College in Amsterdam. This non-profit organisation offers free advice on the safe use of recreational and medicinal cannabis while also educating the public about the many industrial uses of the hemp plant.
Born in France, Charly grew up between Madagascar, Ecuador and Colombia, before eventually moving to the Netherlands to pursue his passion for cannabis. Shortly after arriving in Amsterdam, he started to work for the Sensi Seeds Bank, where he still works today as Community Manager. He is also a volunteer at the Cannabis College and its head gardener. Eternally curious, Charly’s motto is to learn something new every day and share this knowledge with others.
David Nickles - Notes from the Underground: New and Ongoing Explorations in Ethnopharmacology. Synopsis: Following psychedelic prohibition, psychedelics never went away, they just went underground.
David Nickles is an underground ethnobotanical researcher and glassblower based in North Carolina. Operating under the name Oneiros Glass, he has been pursuing the craft of borosilicate glass to escape from the alienating and oppressive atmosphere of 'work', as conceived within an industrial context. Specialising in lathe-work, David primarily fabricates concentrate rigs, water pipes, and custom scientific apparatus used in botanical extractions. Over the past decade, he’s offered sociopolitical commentary and considerations dealing with psychoactive substances and the communities engaged with these plants and compounds. Utilising a framework of radical politics combined with experiential understandings of the insights that entheogens can catalyse, David highlights the ways in which intentional and deliberate use of these plants can transform our world.
Feel free to visit the EGA youtube channel featuring talks from previous events: https://www.youtube.com/entheotv
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For over a decade Entheogenesis Australis has provided a major meeting place for ethnobotanical enthusiasts and specialists in Australia to share information and form a national meeting point for the community. The aims of the EGA conference are to address the issues relating to drug use from social, cultural and traditional perspectives. Past conference programs have drawn on covered diverse topics including therapy, biology, pharmacology, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, botany, visionary art, culture, politics, law and more, to provide a realistic context of the role drugs and altered states play in the modern world.
Altered states of consciousness have long been a fundamental part of human culture, and as our world becomes increasingly fast-paced, alternative modalities are becoming ever more significant and consciously explored. If you’ve ever asked yourself: “has the ‘war on drugs’ created more problems than it has tried to solve?” or “is MDMA really a more dangerous drug than alcohol?” – then EGA is the place for you.
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The Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) team is a collective of people from many different backgrounds, areas of expertise, and experiences, who volunteer their time to produce the symposia, associated events and online presence. The EGA symposium is an international forum where we share knowledge and discuss ethnobotanical research and policy reform in Australia around medicinal plants and compounds.
Entheogenesis Australis is completely funded by the community, and currently receives no funding from government, or government-funded organisations.
All funds go directly to the symposium’s production costs, and future botanical, educational and artistic projects. The board members and directors of Entheogenesis Australis Inc. are not currently paid a salary for their efforts in organising EGA events and related media.
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