Former government drugs advisor to talk at Uni of Bath

The former government advisor on drugs who was sacked for making anti-government comments about ecstasy and cannabis is giving a free public lecture at the University of Bath next week (16 February).

In his lecture ‘Science in Drug Politics: From current oxymoron to future principle’, psychiatrist Professor David Nutt will be talking about the regulation of drugs including alcohol and tobacco.

Professor Nutt specialises in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep.

Until 2009 he was a professor at the University of Bristol heading their Psychopharmacology Unit but since then he is the Edmond J Safra chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.

Professor Nutt was a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and was President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

He was also on the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs until he was sacked by former Home Secretary Alan Johnson for making comments which went against Government policy. These comments related to horse-riding being statistically more dangerous than ecstasy and the legalisation of cannabis.

Professor Nutt said: “The regulation of drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, is an issue of pressing importance due to the increasing health care costs associated with their use and the new sorts of synthetic agents being developed and sold over the internet.”

“My talk will reflect on these issues in the light of my ten years experience on the governments’ Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs from which I was sacked about a year ago.”

“I shall present new analyses that compare the harms of drugs and alcohol using more sophisticated methodology and challenge many of the current misconceptions about drugs, their harms and how to deal with them.”

This lecture is one of the University’s Millennium lectures, which aim to inspire young scientists from local schools and the undergraduate community, as well as engage the general public and academics in interesting scientific topics.

The lectures aim to cover all aspects of science and previous speakers include Prof. Lord Robert Winston, Prof. Steve Jones, Philip Ball, and Dr. Alice Roberts.

The lecture will be held on Wednesday 16 February at 4:15pm in 3 West North 2.1 on the Claverton Campus and is free to attend.

This event is not ticketed and will be administered on a first-come-first-serve basis, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

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