Prozac for the masses: Academy panel debates the ethics of mood enhancement


Francis Fukuyama among those debating the ethics of mood enhancement

Imagine taking a ¡§mood enhancement¡¨ pill to cure your Monday morning blues. Or maybe your boss wants to give you a pill to make you happier and more productive at work. Or perhaps your doctor prescribes a pill for your ¡§latent¡¨ depression on the basis of DNA tests showing that depression runs in your family.

While clinically depressed people are the primary consumers for today¡¦s mood-enhancement pills, does it make sense to exploit these drugs as the solution for a greater variety of ills? If so, how dangerous are these drugs? Will they be covered under insurance? How might their use impact society? What are the ethical, moral and legal dilemmas surrounding the development and mass distribution of mood enhancing drugs?

To address these disturbing and controversial questions, the New York Academy of Sciences is sponsoring a panel discussion, Mood Enhancement: When Is It Ethical? on Tuesday, July 13 at 5 p.m. at Academy Headquarters, 2 East 63rd Street, New York, NY. A reception will follow at 7 p.m.

A panel of distinguished psychologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists will lead the discussion:

  • Peter D. Kramer, Brown University
  • Steven E. Hyman, Harvard University
  • Brian D. Knutson, Stanford University
  • Francis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins University
  • Samuel Barondes, University of California, San Francisco
  • Martha Farah, University of Pennsylvania

Seating is limited. To RSVP, please contact [email protected]. or call 212.838.0230 ext. 257.

For information on this and other upcoming events at the Academy, please visit our calendar of events at 'Science & The City' at>.

Founded in 1817, the New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, non-profit organization of more than 22,000 members serving science, technology and society worldwide.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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