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Brain-Boosting Drugs 'Not To Be Feared'

Publication Date: 
December 14, 2008
New Scientist

Professor Henry T. "Hank" Greely is quoted in the New Scientist in an article commenting on an essay he and others wrote in Nature advocating the use of brain-boosting drugs like Ritalin and Adderall:

Henry Greely of Stanford Law School in California, and his colleagues, call for more research on this, as well as into the drugs' safety. Cognitive enhancers found to be safe and effective should be welcomed, not feared, they say (Nature , DOI: 10.1038/456702a).

"This isn't like steroids and sports... enhancement is not a dirty word," says Greely, adding that using drugs in this way is not "unnatural".

He and his colleagues argue that a safe pill should be seen as no different to other strategies we already use to improve our minds, like a good night's sleep or a strong cup of coffee. Inexpensive drugs may even have the potential to be a more egalitarian way to get ahead than expensive tutoring, they say.