Neuroethics Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2016

Publication Source

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine

Volume

59

Issue

1

Start Page

107

Last Page

121

DOI

10.1353/pbm.2016.0019

Abstract

Henry Knowles Beecher, an icon of human research ethics, and Timothy Francis Leary, a guru of the counterculture, are bound together in history by the synthetic hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Both were associated with Harvard University during a critical period in their careers and of drastic social change. To all appearances the first was a paragon of the establishment and a constructive if complex hero, the second a rebel and a criminal, a rogue and a scoundrel. Although there is no evidence they ever met, Beecher’s indirect struggle with Leary over control of the 20th century’s most celebrated psychedelic was at the very heart of his views about the legitimate, responsible investigator.That struggle also proves to be a revealing bellwether of the increasingly formalized scrutiny of human experiments that was then taking shape.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Copyright © 2016 Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 59:1 (2016), 107-121. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.

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Date Posted: 04 January 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.