Robert Gordon Wasson (22 de Setembro de 1898 – 23 de Dezembro de1986) foi um autor e pesquisador amador. Na área de pesquisas independentes, ele contribuiu para a etnobotânica, botânica e antropologia. Seu livros foram publicados, ilustrados e confeccionado por ele mesmo, e nunca foram reimpressos.Wasson estudou etnobotânica desde o ano de 1927 onde realizou viagens para Catskill Mountains, fez diversos experimentos com cogumelos. Fascinado pela cultura diferenciada no cultivo e criação dos fungos na Rússia em comparação com os Estados Unidos, e em 1957, publicou "Russia and History.Wasson também realizou diversas expedições pela américa do sul onde teve contato com religiões e povos que utilizavam as culturas dos cogumélos e suas propriedades. Sua experiências com cogumelos obteve êxito na área de farmacologia, pois foram constatados diversas toxinas que ajudaram no tratamento de intoxicações.Fonte:http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Wasson
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Robert Gordon Wasson (September 22, 1898 – December 23, 1986) was an American author, ethnomycologist, and a vice president of J.P. Morgan & Co. In the course of independent research, he made contributions to the fields of ethnobotany, botany, and anthropology. Several of his books were self-published in illustrated, limited editions that have never been reprinted.WorkWasson's studies in ethnomycology began during his 1927 honeymoon trip to the Catskill Mountains when his bride, Valentina Pavlovna Guercken (1901–1958), a paediatrician, chanced upon some edible wild mushrooms. Fascinated by the marked difference in cultural attitudes towards the fungus in Russia compared to the United States, the couple began field research that led to the publication of Mushrooms, Russia and History in 1957. In the course of their investigations they mounted expeditions to Mexico to study the religious use of mushrooms by the native population, and claimed to have been the first Westerners to participate in a Mazatec mushroom ritual. It was the curandera María Sabina who allowed Wasson to participate in the ritual, and who taught him about the uses and effects of the mushroom. Sabina let him take her picture on the condition that he keep it private, but Wasson nonetheless published the photo along with Sabina's name and the name of the community where she lived.In May 1957 they published a Life magazine article titled Seeking the Magic Mushroom, which brought knowledge of the existence of psychoactive mushrooms to a wide audience for the first time. The article sparked immense interest in the Mazatec ritual practice among beatniks and hippies, an interest that proved disastrous for the Mazatec community and for María Sabina in particular. As the community was besieged by Westerners wanting to experience the mushroom induced hallucinations, Sabina attracted attention by the Mexican police who thought that she sold drugs to the foreigners. The unwanted attention completely altered the social dynamics of the Mazatec community and threatened to terminate the Mazatec custom. The community blamed Sabina, and she was ostracized in the community and had her house burned down. Sabina later regretted having introduced Wasson to the practice, but Wasson defended himself by saying that the loss experienced by Sabina and the community was justified by the value of the study for science.Together, Wasson and botanist Roger Heim collected and identified various species of family Strophariaceae and genus Psilocybe, while Albert Hofmann, using material grown by Heim from specimens collected by the Wassons, identified the chemical structure of the active compounds, psilocybin and psilocin. Hofmann and Wasson were also among the first Westerners to collect specimens of the Mazatec hallucinogen Salvia divinorum, though these specimens were later deemed not suitable for rigorous scientific study or taxonomic classification. Two species of mushroom, Psilocybe wassonii heim and Psilocybe wassonorum guzman, were named in honor of Wasson along with Heim and Gastón Guzmán, the latter of whom Wasson met during an expedition to Huautla de Jiménez in 1957.Wasson's next major contribution was a study of the ancient Vedic intoxicant soma, which he proposed was based on the psychoactive fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) mushroom. This hypothesis was published in 1967 under the title Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. His attention then turned to the Eleusinian Mysteries, the initiation ceremony of the ancient Greek cult of Demeter and Persephone. In The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries (1978), co-authored with Albert Hofmann and Carl A. P. Ruck, it was proposed that the special potion "kykeon", a pivotal component of the ceremony, contained psychoactive ergoline alkaloids from the fungus Ergot (Claviceps spp.).His last completed work, The Wondrous Mushroom, will be republished by City Lights Publishers in March of 2013.Fonte:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Gordon_Wasson