Editor's note

With any luck, you’ve spent much of the last week enjoying some time off with friends and family – or perhaps simply unable to move from the couch due to the sheer volume of Easter eggs, hot cross buns and Anzac biscuits you’ve consumed. Whatever the case, you’d be forgiven for missing some of the articles we published this week.

One interesting piece in particular looks at the emerging psychedelic science in Australia. Over the years, there’s been research done in several other countries looking at the use of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin (found in “magic mushrooms”) and MDMA (more commonly known as ecstasy) to treat mental illness. Despite some promising results, unsurprisingly, this research has been a little controversial. But, as Martin Williams and Stephen Bright explain, we’re now set to see the first trial of this kind in Australia. Later this year at St Vincent’s hospital in Melbourne, a study will begin looking at the effectiveness of psilocybin-assisted therapy for anxiety and depression among terminally ill patients.

Phoebe Roth

Assistant Editor, Health+Medicine

Top story

Research has shown psychedelic drugs can have a positive effect on a range of mental health conditions, but there are side effects. From shutterstock.com

Psychedelics to treat mental illness? Australian researchers are giving it a go

Martin Williams, Monash University; Stephen Bright, Edith Cowan University

Australia is about to start its first trial of psychedelic drugs for the treatment of anxiety and depression. If the results are positive, this could transform the way we treat mental illness.

Health + Medicine

Arts + Culture

Business + Economy


  • Get set for take-off in electric aircraft, the next transport disruption

    Jake Whitehead, The University of Queensland; Michael Kane, Curtin University

    Some countries have already committed to using electric aircraft on domestic routes. These aircraft could slash costs and emissions on some of Australia's busiest flight routes.

  • Podcasts and cities: ‘you’re always commenting on power’

    Dallas Rogers, University of Sydney; Miles Herbert, University of Technology Sydney

    Podcasters are creating new conversations about who and what the city is for. But even in the podcasting world, powerful interests can make it hard for new and previously excluded voices to be heard.

Politics + Society


Science + Technology

Environment + Energy


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