Ep. 21: Mycosymbiote - Cordyceps, Citizen Science & Systemic Change (feat. William Padilla-Brown)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the extraordinary honor of interviewing William Padilla-Brown. Founder of MycoSymbiotics, William is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur 'phychologist', urban shaman, writer, you-tube vlogger, contributing editor for Fungi magazine, researcher, poet, and father. 

Venturing into the woods of Pennsylvania, we'll train our eyes to go foraging for wild cordyceps with a man who has played a major role in popularizing the cultivation of this zombie mushroom. William walks us through some of the fundamental biochemistry of this fiery fruit body including the compounds in cordyceps that make them world-renowned medicinal fungi. While reviewing some well-known compounds like the adenosine-derivative cordycepin, Will also shines light on some lesser-known compounds like cordynin. How much of cordyceps' medicinal potential has yet to be researched and uncovered? How many different species are there and do cordycep species besides C. Sinesis and C. Militaris show promise in terms of their use as medicinals?   

As a non-traditional educator and YouTube-university graduate, Will's journey has always involved novel methodologies when it comes to spreading scientific information across communities. We'll hear about his work in the lab and how he has given others the tools to practice the scientific method in their own home. Exploring the growing citizen science ecosystem, we'll glimpse a vision of a not-too-distant future where a decentralized network of home labs and community-based labs work together to push science forward. Can the application of models like community-based science and permaculture be enough to help manifest a better world? Is there an opportunity for a new, conscious generation to participate in what may be perceived as "broken" or "outdated" institutions to effectively subvert the dominant paradigm and create lasting, positive change?   

We wrap up our chat talking about POC involvement in the mycological and citizen science communities. Inclusion is critical and everyone needs to be exposed to this life-changing information. What are some ways event organizers and mycology clubs can engage with POC communities?   

Thanks for listening and Mush Love!   

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour 

Music by: Ancient Baby   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano   

Episode Resources 
Mycosymbiote IG: https://www.instagram.com/mycosymbiote/   
William Padilla-Brown Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/William-Padilla-Brown/100006127386177   
Mycosymbiotics: https://www.mycosymbiotics.net/   
Mycosymbiotics Shop: https://www.mycoshop.net/   
MycoFest: https://www.mycofest.net/   
Globifomes Graveolens: http://www.mycoguide.com/guide/fungi/basi/agar/poly/poly/glob/graveolens 

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