If there were pills that could make you smarter, would you take them? Should parents give brain enhancement medication to their children? Would you want to remember everything forever?
These questions and more were explored during Smarter; a Wellcome Trust funded drama debate which was piloted in secondary schools in Scotland and the West of England during 2009. An introductory dramatic scenario and a series of interactive discussion activities were delivered by pairs of professional science presenters.
The aim of Smarter was to stimulate dialogue about the social and ethical issues surrounding the use of cognitive enhancing medication, amongst KS3-KS4 pupils in England and S1-S4 pupils in Scotland. It provided the opportunity for young people to explore their own values and opinions about the contentious issue of brain enhancement. The drama and specifically tailored curriculum resources were developed by Graphic Science, in association with partners at Glasgow Science Centre.
The project was subject to intensive formative evaluation, which informed the development of Smarter UK, a Wellcome Trust funded rollout of the project.