R. Gordon Wasson
Date of Birth  :
September 22, 1898
Place of Birth  :
Russia
Country  :
Russia
Field of Expertise  :
Ethnomycology
Educational background  :
Wasson's studies in ethnomycology began during his 1927 honeymoon trip to the Catskill Mountains when his bride, Valentina Pavlovna Guercken (19011958), 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 which led to the writing of Mushrooms, Russia and History published in 1957.
Acheivements / Contributions  :

Experiences with the magic mushrooms apparently had a profound effect on Wasson, and fungi remained a persistent theme in his work. His 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 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.

Bibliography  :
The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries.