Introducing 'The Trip Report' by Beckley Waves
On the Shoulders of Giants
Welcome to the first dispatch from The Trip Report by Beckley Waves!
Yes, this little newsletter project I started on a lark three years ago is now part of the Beckley family!
In today’s post, you’ll read about the humble beginnings of this newsletter, the acquisition by Beckley Waves, a psychedelic venture studio, what this means for readers, and how we plan to move forward as The Trip Report by Beckley Waves.
On Monday, you’ll hear from the legend herself, Amanda Feilding, and her co-founders, Rock Feilding-Mellon and Daniel Love, about the founding of Beckley Waves and the mission to incubate and invest in companies creating the infrastructure for psychedelic care delivery and safe, accessible, and legal access.
Let’s get to it!
In the winter of 2015, I read an article in The New Yorker by Michael Pollan titled The Trip Treatment. I was aware of the handful of studies and promising results mentioned in the piece, but this was the first mainstream coverage I could recall.
I filed it away and went on with life.
Then, about three years ago, I noticed an inflection point in the science and culture of the psychedelic ‘renaissance’:
The first successful psychedelic policy reform effort in the US had passed in Denver by ballot initiative
The FDA had awarded Breakthrough Therapy Status to MDMA and psilocybin
Psychedelic research centers had been established at John’s Hopkins and Imperial College London
The first handful of psychedelic companies had formed
And of course, Pollan’s article in The New Yorker had grown into a cultural phenomenon in his book How to Change Your Mind.
It occurred to me that ‘psychedelics’—as a field of study, an object of policy reform, and an industry—was off to the races.
And I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
I just knew that this emerging field would be the most fascinating, complex, controversial, hyped, hopeful, and paradigm-shifting I could imagine.
With all of the uncertainties, possibilities, risks, and promises of greater cultural adoption of psychedelics—for the treatment of mental health, spiritual development, or liberation or transformation of one kind or another—there is nothing else like it.
I wanted to be a part of it and contribute in a thoughtful and meaningful way.
So I started writing The Trip Report.
I thought by consistently asking myself, “where is this heading?” and tracking, analyzing, and contextualizing the flurry of business formation, policy developments, and scientific findings, I might connect with like-minded people who were also picking up on the scent that something important was afoot.
I had never written publicly, and to my surprise, people read it, liked it, and shared it.
What started as a lark turned into a labor of love and has been the vehicle for connecting me with so many of you, which has been the best part of the whole experience.
Eventually, I started to think about how I could make this side-hustle my full-time job.
I had previously worked in drug development, technology, and alternative medicine—all of which have informed my perspective on this emerging field—but they didn’t scratch the itch.
In writing The Trip Report, I felt my interests and skills aligned for the first time in a meaningful way.
And it was around this time that I met the team at Beckley Waves—Amanda Feilding, Rock Feilding-Mellon, and Daniel Love.
Over several conversations, we got to know each other and talked about the emerging space, the challenges ahead, our mutual areas of interest, and the prospect of teaming up.
This was a big deal for me.
I had admired Amanda’s scientific, philanthropic, and advocacy work for years.
Through her and the work of her Beckley Foundation, I adopted the perspective that this field, movement, renaissance—whatever we choose to call it—is as much about drug policy reform as it is about the science and the therapeutic and transformational potential of psychedelics.
Through philanthropy, advocacy, and partnering with pioneering scientists over the last 55 years, Amanda has spearheaded breakthrough scientific research and advanced the cause for evidence-based international drug policy reform.
“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” is a common refrain among scientists. It is an acknowledgment that their work was not done in isolation but built on the advances, efforts, and discoveries of those before them.
The revived field of psychedelic science stands on the shoulder of several giants, but few have been more impactful than Amanda Feilding and her work at The Beckley Foundation.
In the Beckley Waves team, I found a group of thoughtful and like-minded leaders that I was eager to join.
And so it is exhilarating and humbling to announce that Beckley Waves has acquired The Trip Report!
What does this mean?
Until now The Trip Report has been an independent labor of love.
This acquisition will allow me to invest more time, energy, and resources into the content I create. In addition, it will enable me to professionalize what has been a hobby and make it better.
With this acquisition, I am joining a for-profit venture, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the weight of this new responsibility.
But I wouldn’t have made this decision if it didn’t align with what readers tell me they appreciate most about The Trip Report—thoughtful, curiosity-driven, and future-focused writing.
So going forward, you can expect much of the same—context and analysis of the developments in the psychedelic space through the weekly dispatch.
But also more long-form, deep-dive pieces about a wide range of important topics and themes related to the business, policy, and science of the emerging psychedelic field.
I am so excited about this next chapter, and it wouldn’t be possible without you, the readers.
Thank you for entrusting me with your time and attention. It means the world to me that you read and engage with my work. 🙏
I can’t wait to see where this journey leads.
See you again on Monday when you’ll hear from Amanda, Rock, and Dan about Beckley Waves!
Have a great weekend!