Why not use pills to get smarter? This was the topic of an extraordinarily engaging event entitled ‘Smart Pills, anyone?’ that took place on the evening of Monday 18th March at the Cambridge Science Festival 2013. The event was organized by the Naked Scientists (delivery partner of the Wellcome Trust-funded Smarter UK project) and the University of Cambridge Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), and was supported by the Wellcome Trust, the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the University of Cambridge. Fully booked and attended by more than 150 people, mostly college students, ‘Smart Pills, anyone?’ was chaired by Alok Jha (science correspondent at The Guardian) and included presentations by a panel composed of Professor Barbara Sahakian (Department of Psychiatry and the MRC/Wellcome Trust BCNI University of Cambridge), Dr. Hannah Critchlow (Naked Scientists) and Ben Johnston (Graphic Science and lead of the Smarter UK project). The evening also included a highly articulate debate on the use of cognitive enhancers by GSCE/A Level students from local schools.
The Cambridge Science Festival 2013 hosted the public event “Focusing ADHD” (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) on 14th March 2013. The event was a part of the Brain Awareness Week (11th-17th March) campaign. Many public engagement events took place all over the UK to raise awareness for brain and mental health problems. “Focusing ADHD” event was organised by the University of Cambridge Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI) and sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the University of Cambridge.