[Question] Is a PhD necessary to contribute meaningfully to a field?

For context, I have happened to find myself in the highly fortunate situation of being relatively young (late-twenties) and having met my financial retirement goals. I have always held a fascination with cognitive science and want to now orient my life to participation within said field in alignment with some of my other interests, particularly the cognitive processes underlying altered states of consciousness (psychedelics, flow, religious ecstasy). After much thought, I’ve been able to see that a personal skill I’ve developed is in being able to synthesize existing information and communicate it to others in a way that is easy to understand and I would like to approach my academic pursuit from this angle instead of being involved in the actual academic lab work. I am still relatively naive to the workings and structure of academia but am trying to find a place within the field where I can combine my interests and skills to meaningfully contribute to the field of study as a whole. My fear is that this would limit me to largely commentary and synthesis of existing information and that it would label me as less credible because I am not actually involved in the work of producing scientific literature itself.

My question is less oriented around Cognitive Science as a field of study specifically but in regards to academic fields of study as a whole. Do I need to have a Ph.D. in order to write books and articles that summarize existing literature, postulate potential avenues of research, and theorize within the field of cog sci? I currently have my bachelors in cloud computing but would any other degree of education work such as an MSc.? I have the resources and time to acquire these if necessary but I am just trying to see the best return on my time investment if I don’t necessarily desire to publish academic research.

Thank you.