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Enlightenment Lecture: Professor David Nutt

On Thursday 14 of November, the Sixth Form Enlightenment Lecture was given by Professor David Nutt from Imperial College London, on Drugs, Science And The Media: An Unholy Trinity?

Professor Nutt is a Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and a consultant psychiatrist in the Central and North West London mental health trust, where he conducts research into the mechanisms of addiction and the effects of drugs on function. He is currently the Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, which provides unbiased evidence about the actions of drugs.

We had a very thought-provoking talk followed by a question and answer session on what constitutes a drug, examining legal versus illegal drugs (e.g. ecstasy versus alcohol) and how the media and government play a strong role in presenting the facts. Professor Nutt spoke about our need to assess what we define as risky behaviour and how politicians can easily manipulate so-called ‘facts’ about drugs to deliver a political message. Whilst this talk was controversial and challenged many accepted viewpoints, it was useful to gain an insight from someone with such deep pharmacological knowledge.

Rosie Turner (Upper Sixth, Feilden)

Thanks for a very enjoyable day, I very much enjoyed meeting the staff and students of Cokethorpe School and was particularly pleased by the high level of discussion after my talk.

Professor David Nutt

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