What led scientists to have acrobats copulate inside an MRI machine? Why do wordless patterns of sound send shivers down our spines and tickle ancient parts of our brains? How did a chemist’s quest to create a drug to ease the pain of childbirth result in the creation of LSD? And did it change our understanding of the brain forever?

From tortoiseshell condoms to superstar athletes on hallucinogens, science writer Zoe Cormier dissects these and other burning questions, amplifying them with insights from some of the world’s bravest, cleverest, and downright weirdest scientists.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll explores science at the edge, where scientists ask big, strange questions — and sometimes experiment on themselves to find answers. It shines a light into the lesser-known corners of scientific research to gain insight into the nature of consciousness, happiness, and humanity. Not to mention our parties.

Here are stories of unconventional scientists, innovative inquiries, hedonistic impulses — and how the renegades of science have illuminated the secrets of our baser impulses.

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