News Center

Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr

Give Scientists Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Publication Date: 
June 30, 2010
The Atlantic - The Ideas Report
Chris Good

Professor Hank Greely is quoted in The Atlantic for his support of "cognition-enhancement" drugs. Chris Good filed this story:

In our culture, performance-enhancing drugs are seen as a vehicle for cheating. For example, athletes who use steroids or human growth hormone are weeded out through testing policies, punished, and publicly shamed. But these drugs are more common than one might think, and their use extends beyond sports--military pilots have been given amphetamines for missions, and some of the most competitive college campuses are rife with illicit use of ADD medication.

Performance-enhancers are increasingly part of our modern existence, despite our instinct to ban them. So why don't we use them for good? Let scientists and researchers use drugs that boost productivity and innovation. Allow them controlled access to prescription medication like Ritalin and Adderall and, with more caveats and limitations, hallucinogens like LSD and Ayahuasca that have been linked to creativity. Henry Greely, Director of the Stanford Center for Law and the Bio-Sciences, has advocated that "cognition-enhancing" pills are natural for students to take. "Better-working brains produce things of more lasting value than longer home runs," he argues. Similarly, we should encourage our scientists to experiment, if they so desire.