Seminar 3: Psychopharmacology, identity, and human enhancement

June 29th 2015 – Liverpool John Moores University, UK
The third event in our seminar series focused on psychopharmacology, identity and human enhancement. The seminar asked questions about how psychopharmacology added to our understanding of, and response to, difficult policy questions, as well as exploring novel methodologies for the investigation of user behaviours.  The included sessions on both NPS and enhancement drugs, and ended with a panel discussion.

The learning from the day will also go towards informing Seminar 6, to be held in Spring 2016, which will examine how the social sciences can inform the development of novel harm reduction, treatment and supportive interventions for users of these drugs.

The seminar was filmed (see video links below) and podcasted (to be uploaded soon, see Podcast page from the links above), and we will also be publishing a briefing paper which will summarise learning from the day.

Speakers and broad talk topics included:

  • Harry Sumnall (LJMU)- The new Psychoactive Substances Bill and contribution of (social) psychopharmacology to policy making
  • Jim McVeigh (LJMU) – Experiential psychopharmacology of enhancement drugs
  • Katy McCloud (Scottish Drugs Forum) – Experiential psychopharmacology of NPS
  • Rebecca Askew (MMU) – Listening to drug takers: how user experiences and perspectives can help inform harm reduction, education and policy
  • Rebekah Brennan (Waterford)- Clinical outcomes of melanotan use
  • Lucy Wallis (LJMU) – Diffusion of NPS
  • Kieran Hamilton (Uni West Scotland) – hegemonic discourse in online NPS communities

For questions about this seminar please email Prof Harry Sumnall. For more information about the organisers of this seminar please visit

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