Cafe #2: The Impact of Neuroscience on Society

We are hugely excited to announce that the second Café Culturel will be given by the world renowned Professor Barbara Sahakian (University of Cambridge). The talk will be entitled The Impact of Neuroscience on Society: The Neuroethics of ‘Smart Drugs’ and will focus on cognitive enhancing drugs.

BJS photo
Professor Barbara Sahakian

Cognitive enhancing drugs are needed to treat the cognitive dysfunction of disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and schizophrenia. However, some of these cognitive enhancing drugs are now being used by healthy people and this lifestyle use is increasing. Since there are no long-term safety and efficacy studies in healthy people, this is a major concern, particularly as many people access these prescription only drugs over the internet. There are also many neuroethical concerns, including the issues of direct or indirect coercion. As a society, it is important for us to consider what forms of enhancement are acceptable and whether certain groups in particular will benefit from enhancement.

In short, we will consider the actions of cognitive enhancing drugs on the brain, their effects on cognition and the impact of the increasing lifestyle use of these drugs on society.

The Café will take place from 7-9pm on Thursday 19th March at Cherry Reds, John Bright St, Birmingham and, as always, entry is completely free. It promises to be an engaging and thought provoking evening and we can’t wait to see you there!

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