Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Performance enhancing drugs in higher education

Drug assisted examination performance seems to be emerging as an aspect of contemporary education according to a number of reports in the press recently, including this story in the BBC news site. Ritalin to enhance concentration seems to surpass the old faithful of coffee for 'night before the exam' alertness (though how much effect that really had is open to serious question!).

Should such performance enhancing drugs be a cause for concern? Is the fact that a survey indicates that 17% of students in 'some US universities' take such drugs for non-medicinal purposes an issue or not? The author of the survey/report has real concerns about the medical repercussions. These are topics discussed in a debate last night in London under the auspices of Nature magazine.

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