If you could take a pill that would help you study and get better grades, would you? Off-label use of "smart drugs" - pharmaceuticals meant to treat disorders like ADHD, narcolepsy, and Alzheimer's - are becoming increasingly popular among college students hoping to get ahead, by helping them to stay focused and alert for longer periods of time. But is this cheating? Should their use as cognitive enhancers be approved by the FDA, the medical community, and society at large? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Dr. Anjan Chatterjee is the Frank A. and Gwladys H. Elliott Professor and Chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital. He co-edited Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, Medicine, and Society and The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology, and he wrote The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art. He is or has been on the editorial boards of American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, Behavioural Neurology, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Neuropsychology, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, The Open Ethics Journal and Policy Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology. He was awarded the 2002 Norman Geschwind Prize in Cognitive Neurology by the American Academy of Neurology. He is a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Neuroethics Society, the past president of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and the past president of the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Society.
Nita A. Farahany is a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biosciences and emerging technologies, particularly those related to neuroscience and behavioral genetics. She holds a joint appointment as Professor of Law at Duke Law and research professor at Duke University's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. In 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and continues to serve as a member.
Farahany's recent scholarship includes "Searching Secrets," University of Pennsylvania Law Review (2012), which explores the descriptive potential of intellectual property law as a metaphor to describe current Fourth Amendment search and seizure law and to predict how the Fourth Amendment will apply to emerging technology. She also is the editor of The Impact of Behavioral Sciences on Criminal Law (2011), a book of essays from experts in science, law, philosophy, and policy. Farahany clerked for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In 2011, Farahany served as a visiting associate professor of law and the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School. She teaches courses related to criminal law and criminal procedure, along with courses at the intersection of law, science, and philosophy
Eric Racine is the director of the Neuroethics Research Unit and associate research professor at the IRCM (Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal). He also holds academic appointments at the University of Montreal (Bioethics and Medicine) and McGill University (Neurology and Neurosurgery and Bioethics). The author of Pragmatic Neuroethics, Racine is a pioneer researcher in neuroethics and a prolific author of peer-reviewed papers, chapters, and columns published in leading bioethics, neuroscience, social science, and medical journals. He is a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; member of the DANA Alliance for Brain Initiatives; and associate editor of the journal Neuroethics. He has been involved in seminal events and international conferences in neuroethics. He was a visiting fellow at the Brocher Foundation (Switzerland), the International Institute of Biomedical Ethics at Uppsala University (Sweden), and the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Munich (Germany).
Nicole Vincent obtained her PhD in the philosophy of tort law in 2007 from the University of Adelaide in Australia. She subsequently spent three years in the Netherlands working on a project entitled "The Brain and The Law,” before returning to Australia for another three years to kick start the Australian Neurolaw Database project. In 2013 she joined Georgia State University as associate professor of philosophy, law, and neuroscience. The concept of responsibility occupies center stage in Vincent's work. She has written on such topics as the compatibility of responsibility and determinism, medical interventions to make criminal offenders competent for execution, how neuroscience and behavioral genetics fit into criminal responsibility adjudication procedures, tort liability for failure to use cognitive enhancement medications, and whether people who live unhealthy lifestyles should have de-prioritised access to public health care resources and to organ transplants.