Brain Pills in Schools

May 22, 2008 at 12:15 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Nutritionism, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Just a very brief post today on ‘brain pills’. I found this in my daily email from the BBC today. The report states that:

Schools and universities may soon need to test students sitting exams for brain improving drugs, experts say.

So, in the near future society will be policing children’s use of substances that are thought to improve brain function. We will administer urine drug tests for cognitive enhancers and regulation may have to be introduced to stop these treatments and future ones from giving people an unfair advantage in examinations and tests. What a contrast with the Durham fish oil ‘trial’. I’m not trying to make the argument that cognitive enhancers should be allowed. Rather, I am trying to comprehend the distinction between (1) schools and their county council actively pushing fish oil pills on kids and (2) the ‘need’ for regulation due to a possibility that children may use a brain-enhancement drug for exam success. Is there some kind of moral difference between fish oil pills and ritalin or aricept – or is it a matter of health and safety? Is it cheating to take ritalin… but not cheating to take fish oil pills? Are fish oil pills assumed to be completely safe and pharmaceutical drugs assumed to be inherently unsafe? Was there even a risk assessment made by Durham County Council before they pushed these pills?

More on the Durham Fish Oil Saga here and here.

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Homeopathic Polls

March 3, 2008 at 1:32 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Homeopathy) (, , , , , , , , )

This page on homeopathy shows the results of a poll into homeopathic “education”. The poll gave a list of options as follows:

As a homeopath your education is: self taught; distance learning; 1 year regular; 2 year regular; 3 year regular; 4 year regular; 5+ year regular; not a homeopath. Read the rest of this entry »

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