Points Interview: Philipp Rühr, Archival Researcher Network participant.

Following on from my recent post on the emergence of the non-profit psychedelic prior art library Porta Sophia, and its Archival Researcher Network (ARN), this post features an interview with ARN-participant Philipp Rühr.

Philipp is an aspiring psychotherapist with a background in video art, filmmaking and translation. His videos and films have been shown internationally. Based in Berlin, he is currently completing his studies in Psychotherapy Sciences at the Sigmund Freud Universität where he is also working at the outpatient clinic. He has recently received Porta Sophia’s ARN-Research Grant for his research on psychedelic prior art. Philipp’s current focus are clinical trials with psychedelic compounds in children and adolescents, and he is dreaming of compiling and translating a compendium of historic German psychedelic study reports which haven’t previously been translated into English.

Through the interview here, it becomes clear how Rühr’s work with the ARN has dovetailed with his own research interests and career to ultimately support Porta Sophia’s goal to intervene in the psychedelic patent landscape and ensure psychedelic therapies can one day be available at scale to the people who need them. Rühr was one of the first recipients of a Porta Sophia research grant and, to date, he has submitted 30 pieces of prior art in response to the archival prior art targets. 

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Introducing the Archival Researcher Network

Editor’s Note: Amanda Pratt returns to the Pharmaceutical Inequalities series to introduce the Archival Researcher Network by Porta Sophia. Points’ Pharmaceutical Inequalities feature is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.

At a time when the nonprofit psychedelic prior art library Porta Sophia is generating significant buzz for successful interventions on overly-broad psychedelic patent applications (see for example, coverage in this recent New York Times article), it’s worth reflecting on how a network of archival researchers is working behind the scenes to help shape the future landscape of psychedelic research and make these potential pharmaceuticals more equitably accessible. In the next two posts, I will be profiling Archival Researcher Network (ARN) participants to illustrate how their work supports Porta Sophia’s mission. Here, I’ll discuss the exigence of the ARN and its continued development. 

In a June 2021 Points post, Chris Elcock wrote about the emergence of Porta Sophia in the face of ever-growing pressures to patent psychedelic-related technologies. In the 18 months since, Porta Sophia has not only built a library of nearly 800 curated prior art sources (as of November 2022), but has also established itself as an important watchdog in the psychedelic patenting space. The team has directly intervened with sixteen overly-broad patents by submitting evidence of unpatentability to the USPTO and international patent offices, several of which have resulted in applicants canceling and/or amending claims and in one case, a rejection of claims from the USPTO

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Rehousing Archives from the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is exciting. The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation is looking to rehouse its extensive archives. If you’re interested in learning more about these materials, contact CJPF’s executive director, Eric Sterling, at the information below. 

Eric Sterling, former counsel to the House Subcomittee on Crime (1979-1989) and Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (1989-current) is looking for a proper home for his archive of drug and alcohol literature. These materials include materials from NORML, the Drug Policy Foundation, the Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and many smaller organizations and initiatives. These include congressional materials such as the printed hearings of the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, documents relating to the enactment of the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988, and monographs from NIDA, ONDCP, DEA and other agencies. There are about 500 books on marijuana, cocaine, heroin, psychedelics, methamphetamine and the sociology and history of drug use, addiction and treatment. There are also materials related to sentencing, prisons, policing, organized crime, money laundering, gun control, pornography and prostitution, and materials related to Congress and politics. The materials include videocassettes, audiocassettes, pamphlets, and other papers.

Sterling has been involved in drug policy reform since he testified for marijuana decriminalization in 1976. If you’re interested in learning more about this information, or in acquiring some for your own library, contact Eric at the information below.

Eric E. Sterling, Executive Director

Criminal Justice Policy Foundation

8730 Georgia Ave., Suite 400, Silver Spring, MD 20910

direct: 202-365-2420

@CJPF_tweets

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