Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#StevesLibrary: Elephants on Acid

If like me, some of the more questionable experiments in history such as the Harlow experiments investigating the isolation of infant monkeys interest you as much as they shock you, then ‘Elephants on Acid‘ by Alex Boese is certainly a book for you! I’ve recommended this book to a number of people now to highlight both the progress of science but also due to the weird and wacky things that have been pulled off in the past. I doubt any of them would pass through an ethics board now but it’s always good to look back at the past and see what was possible then compared to now. It’s also good to look back to see how far we’ve come and see how the weird has influenced the mundane. Obviously the book gets its name from the experiment which saw elephants being given the largest ever dose of LSD but it also covers other such as how long a severed head retains consciousness. Although the book is filled with experiments that we may now find shocking or a novelty, but in their day they were as important as any other today. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of science but be ready for a shock!

One of the many different cover iterations


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