Just like baseball, academics has its own performance enhancing drugs. I received a call from my dad the other day telling me about the 60 minutes special on the prevalence of using Ritalin and Adderall (ADD medication) to enhance academic performance. For individuals who do not have ADD, the drugs help people stay awake and focus better. The idea is that the stimulant effects of Adderall allow for intense focus, and they enable the user to stay up for multiple days while maintaining that focus.
For example, in this video, a couple of students discuss their experience with using Adderall to enhance academic performance. By some accounts, Adderall use among college students and academics has become commonplace.
Given this background, the poll question for the week is:
What should be done about the use of Adderall in academics?
(a) Nothing. It's just like an extreme form of coffee.
(b) Ban it.* Those who use Adderall artificially raise the standard of performance, and the side effects are intolerable.
(c) Promote it. Academics on Adderall can come up with game-changing ideas that help improve our world.
As always, I'm interested in hearing what you have to say. The poll is open for a week, so vote early and often. Tell your friends and colleagues to vote. And, if you're on Adderall and can't go to sleep, voting on this poll ought to give you something to do.
*Update: As using Adderall without a prescription is illegal, this option really means "organizations should do more to discourage illegal Adderall use." By this option, I do not mean to imply that Adderall should be banned for its prescribed use.