Author & podcaster Tim Ferriss will fund $800,000 over 3 years to the Centre for the Science of Psychedelics at UC Berkeley to form a Psychedelic Journalism Fellowship led by renowned author, journalist & professor Michael Pollan.
Most of the psychedelics community is familiar with both these names; The Tim Ferriss Show often leads the uninitiated and experienced psychonaut alike into the realm of psychedelics through discussions of mind enhancement, meditation, and psychological breakthroughs. Meanwhile Michael Pollan’s name has in recent years become synonymous with psychedelics thanks to his 2018 book How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics which has been credited as boosting psychedelics into mainstream awareness.
Now, the two are teaming up to bolster psychedelic journalism by forming a fellowship at UC Berkeley to support journalists entering the field. Ferriss’ non-profit corporation The Saisei Foundation will fund the Berkeley Centre for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) with $800,000 over three years to form the Ferriss – UC Berkeley Psychedelic Journalism Fellowship.
Launched in 2020, the BCSP was co-founded by the University’s Science and Environmental Journalism Professor Michael Pollan. The centre incorporates multidisciplinary expertise, collaborating with neuroscientists, psychologists, educators and journalists. Those benefiting from the fellowship include early and mid-career journalists who will report with accuracy and credibility on the science, business, policy, and culture of psychedelics and develop further expertise in this fast-changing field.
“As the field of psychedelics explodes, we’re going to need sophisticated journalism to provide the public with reliable information and the field with accountability,” said Pollan. “The Ferriss Fellowship will help the Graduate School of Journalism to support young journalists working in this area, which in turn will hasten the establishment of psychedelics as an important and vibrant journalistic beat.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to support the Fellowship,” said Tim Ferriss. “If you want to bend the arc of history, longform and investigative journalism is one of the best contemporary tools that we have. The Cambrian explosion of psychedelic medicine brings with it both incredible promise and incredible complexity. Dedicated journalists are needed to help separate fact from fiction, hold people accountable, and much more. I am very grateful to be involved.”
Journalists interested in reporting grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 can apply from 1st December 2021, with applications being accepted twice yearly in January and July. Applicants will need to submit a well-researched and compelling story pitch, a budget estimate, three published or aired work samples, a resume, and two letters of reference. “We’re looking for big, underreported, narratively compelling stories placed in rich political, economic, scientific, and cultural contexts.” it said.