The Week Unwrapped podcast: Psychedelic medicine, ice wars and the Bristol pound

Could LSD make us more productive? Why is the Antarctic Treaty under threat? And what’s the problem with hyper-local currencies?

(Image credit: SpaceX)

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Psychedelic medicine

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s new series, The Goop Lab, is attracting fresh attention to the idea that psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms could be used in the treatment of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain - or, in small doses, to promote creativity and productivity. The evidence for this is patchy, but researchers believe this is an area of medicine worth investigating.

Battle for the Antarctic

This week marks the 200th anniversary of Antarctica’s discovery. It has no government, no indigenous population and is the only continent devoted to peace and science. But amid 21st-century geopolitical tensions, how long can this last? And which nations might break away from a 60-year international consensus to protect the world’s last great wilderness?

The Bristol pound

In the wake of the financial crisis, “local currencies” sprung up across the UK, capitalising on distrust of the financial system and globalisation as a whole. But now, the Bristol pound, long seen as one of the more successful local currencies, is struggling to raise funding to cover its running costs. Is it a failed experiment? And what is the point of these currencies anyway?

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped on the Global Player, Apple podcasts, SoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. It is produced by Sarah Myles and the music is by Tom Mawby.

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