Michael Carmichael is an independent scholar and international consultant.
Carmichael has worked in seven US presidential campaigns and conducted scientific research in Oxford UK for twenty-two years.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Michael Carmichael lived in Cincinnati, Tulsa and Oklahoma City before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina at the age of ten, where he attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He paid for his tuition by selling books, working for non-profits and investing in the stock market.
After graduation in 1968, Carmichael rose through the ranks in a series of US presidential campaigns for RFK (University Coordinator/State Coordinator), Gene McCarthy (Press Secretary) and Hubert Humphrey (Deputy GOTV Director-AFL/CIO).
The following year, he served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Mayor John Belk of Charlotte.
In Washington, the chairs of the DSCC, Senators Daniel Inouye and Wendell Ford trained Carmichael to handle US Senate campaigns.
After the November elections in 1972, Carmichael furthered his education by studying several academic disciplines: history; art; physics; mathematics; classics; philosophy; psychology and Renaissance studies.
In 1974, Carmichael served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Rufus Edmisten for Attorney General of North Carolina. Edmisten rose to national prominence as Deputy Chief Counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, the Watergate investigation.
In 1975, Attorney General Edmisten appointed Carmichael to his personal staff. During his tenure, Attorney General Edmisten introduced new and strikingly progressive policies into state government including: the first Affirmative Action program for the hiring and promotion of women and minorities into senior positions; the decriminalization of cannabis; environmental protection, the preservation of the New River; the protection of endangered species in national parklands; the preservation of endangered historic buildings and communities.
In the closing stages of the presidential campaign of Governor James Earl Carter in 1976, Carmichael took a temporary leave of absence and wrote, produced and directed a television ad featuring Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr.’s endorsement that helped carry the states of North Carolina and South Carolina.
While serving on the Attorney General’s staff, Carmichael conducted extensive academic research as an independent scholar. Carmichael studied psychology and the history of physics in Princeton. At Duke, Carmichael studied anthropology with Weston LaBarre. At Harvard, Carmichael was a direct student of ethno-botanists, R. Gordon Wasson and Richard Evans Schultes.
In 1983 Carmichael directed Rufus Edmisten’s campaign for governor of North Carolina. Working with Joe Napolitan, Raymond Strother, Tony Schwartz and Pat Caddell, Carmichael frequently travelled to Washington, DC and New York often combining his travel with stopovers to study the sciences at Harvard and Yale and visits to his family on Cape Cod.
Following the 1984 elections, La Barre, Wasson and Schultes encouraged him to conduct interdisciplinary research in Europe. On his thirty-ninth birthday, Carmichael arrived in London and began work in the historic domed reading room of the British Library where he read renaissance scientific manuscripts.
In Cambridge, Carmichael read the alchemical manuscripts of Isaac Newton and met Professor Joseph Needham who mentored him in Sinology and the history of alchemy in China.
In Oxford, Carmichael established his base for extensive research into the rich collections of early scientific manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. Oxford University’s first Professor of the History of Science, Alastair Cameron Crombie, encouraged him to study the Islamic alchemical literature in Arabic and Farsi. The Oxford University Professor of Chemistry, Sir Graham Richards, frequently advised Carmichael.
In 1998, working in collaboration with the Oxford Professor of Archaeology & Anthropology, the late Andrew Sherratt, and the eminent scholar, Paul Devereux, Carmichael appeared in, Sacred Weeds, a series of scientific documentaries broadcast on several international networks that dealt with the esoteric, cognitive and medical practices of ancient cultures.
When approached by several innovative small volume car companies including: Aston Martin; Ferrari; Lamborghini; Lotus; Maserati and Morgan, Carmichael helped negotiate legislation that permitted them to remain in the US market.
In several appearances on the BBC, Bloomberg, Sky, ITN and Al-Jazeera, Carmichael served as a media spokesman for Democrats Abroad in the United Kingdom representing the partisan opposition to the administration of former President George W. Bush.
Carmichael’s political commentary has appeared in the Huffington Post. Invited to speak at international conferences, Carmichael has addressed audiences in London; Malta; Palermo; Innsbruck; Prague; Istanbul, Lucerne, Lugano, Milan, Naples, Sassari and Rome.
In 2005, Carmichael addressed the Global Peace Conference in Kuala Lumpur. In 2006, Carmichael debated in the Oxford Union. In 2007, Carmichael addressed the War Crimes Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2007, Carmichael’s political mentor in the United Kingdom, the late Tony Benn, introduced him to Dennis Kucinich, the only peace candidate running for president of the United States. Congressman Kucinich invited Carmichael to serve as his Senior Advisor.
In 2011, the Chair of Anthropology invited Carmichael to become a Visiting Scholar at Duke University.
Carmichael lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with Renee Price, where he is writing about the history, anthropology and archaeology of science.
With Renee Price at charity event.