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Richard Evans Schultes
from Amer. Soc. of Pharmacognosy
Richard Evans Schultes
from Amer. Soc. of Pharmacognosy
Erowid Character Vaults
Richard Evans Schultes
Richard Evans Schultes was a Boston-born and Harvard-educated botanical explorer, ethnobotanist and conservationist. To research his undergraduate thesis at Harvard, he travelled to Oklahoma with Weston LaBarre in 1936 to study the use of peyote among the Kiowa. In 1938 he travelled to Oaxaca, Mexico with Pablo Reko to seek the identity of teonanacatl. He and Reko were successful at identifying the species of mushrooms used by the Mazatec Indians and were the first to record the species used for their psychoactive properties.

In 1939 Schultes again travelled to Mexico in a successful attempt to verify the identity of ololiuqui. He travelled throughout Mexico for a few years researching and collecting botanical medicines, hallucinogens, and poisons, before earning his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1941. He soon became caught up in World War II when he was recruited by the United States to find an Amazonian source for rubber. He spent the next ten years working on this project.

In 1953 Schultes became the curator of the Orchid Herbarium at Harvard. He served as Curator of Ethnobotany for the Harvard Botanical Museum from 1958 to 1967 and as Executive Director from 1967-1970. In 1970 he was named Professor of Biology and Director of the Botanical Museum, positions he held until his retirement in 1985.

Schultes was a prolific writer, published over 450 technical papers and nine books on ethnobotany, and was widely recognized as one of the most distinguished figures in the field. He received many awards for his work including the Cross of Boyaca (Colombia's highest honour), the annual Gold Medal of the World Wildlife Fund, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the Linnean Gold Medal (the highest award in the field of botany).
Author of (Books)
  • Potions, Poisons, & Panaceas (1997)
  • Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline (1995)
  • Plants of the Gods (1992)
  • Vine of the Soul (1992)
  • The Glass Flowers at Harvard (1992)
  • The Healing Forest (1990)
  • Where the Gods Reign (1988)
  • The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens (1980)
  • Hallucinogenic Plants (1976)
  • Flesh of the Gods (1972)