Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NIH, EU move to ban “brain doping” in academia

This is it's not just the athlete's!!!...the World Anti-Brain Doping Agency!!! can't make this stuff up...

To be a cutting-edge scientist, you can’t be a dummy. Now, it would seem, you can’t be a dope.

As many readers already know, the press has been paying close attention to the question of brain-enhancing chemicals among academic researchers — specifically, the ethics of “brain doping,” using compounds that were originally designed as treatment for neurological conditions in order to enhance performance: e.g., using the anti-narcolepsy drug Provigil (modafinil) to extend hours of wakefulness, or taking the anti-hyperactivity drug Adderall (amphetamine) to boost energy levels.

Here’s a quick summary of the most prominent articles from the recent mainstream press:

The Blue Pill Makes you Smarter (NPR)
Professor’s Little Helper (Nature)
Brain-Boosting Drugs Hit the Faculty Lounge (Chronicle of Higher Education; n.b. the reader comments on the same page)
Brain Enhancement Is Wrong, Right? (New York Times)
Office Pill-Popping (Wired; this piece is not about academia but raises similar issues in the broader working world)

Now, in answer to these concerns, the NIH and its European equivalents have moved to block the use of brain-enhancing drugs among any individuals or institutions accepting federal money to fund their research. The effort is being spearheaded by a multinational agency, the World Anti-Brain Doping Agency (WABDA), which will “to help individual academic federations implement testing procedures in the fields of academic research.

link to full article

link to Ouroboros blog

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