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Smart Drugs for College Kids

November 05, 2015

Pop a pill, ace a test. If you could take a pill that would instantly make you work harder, improve your brain function and make you “smarter,” would you?

A panel of experts argued this question in a debate this week presented byIntelligence Squared U.S. at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., entitled, “College Students Should be Allowed to Take Smart Drugs.”

Are Smart Drugs a Smart Choice? Experts Debate at SMPA

November 03, 2015

If there was a pill that could make everyone smarter and more focused, how many people would take it?

This question was the subject of debate among experts at the Jack Morton Auditorium Monday night. Moderated by ABC News correspondent John Donvan, the panel weighed the medical and moral risks, as well as the benefits, of college students using drugs like Adderall, without a prescription, to help them study.

‘Smart Drugs’ Are Here — Should College Students Be Allowed to Use Them?

November 03, 2015

We use coffee to stay awake, good food and nutrition to stay healthy and alert. But if there was a drug that made you smarter, helped you learn, and made you more focused, would you take it?

That’s a question that Nicole Vincent, associate professor of philosophy, law and neuroscience at Georgia State University, asked to open her TED talk in Sydney last year.

That question also opened a Monday night debate at George Washington University in which two sides argued both for and against whether “College Students Should Be Allowed to Take Smart Drugs.”

Why Banning Smart Drugs for College Students Is Impossible, Evil

November 03, 2015

Should college students be allowed to take Adderall and Modafinil to improve their academic performance, or should universities treat these so-called “smart drugs” the same way Major League Baseball treats steroids? I attended a debate on the subject at George Washington University last night, and came away convinced that banning smart drugs is not only impractical—it’s profoundly evil.

Are Smart Drugs Good for College Students?

November 03, 2015

Should college students take smart drugs? That was the question posed to a panel of professors at an Intelligence Squared debate at George Washington University on Monday night.

Colleges Should Allow Students to Take Smart Drugs

November 03, 2015

Last night, I had the pleasure of debating my views on why college students should be allowed to take smart drugs. My partner, Anjan Chatterjee and I were in support of the resolution. Nicole Vincent and Eric Racine were opposed.

The debate, hosted by Intelligence Squared US (IQ2US) and FIRE, was an engaging conversation about the existing and potential role of these drugs in society, and in particular on college campuses.

Intelligence Squared / FIRE Debate: College Students Should Be Allowed to Take Smart Drugs

November 01, 2015

Intelligence Squared US and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) are embarking on a joint venture (that I am proud to have brokered), to present a series of high-profile debates on college campuses. Our first debate will be tomorrow at George Washington University.

‘Smart Pills’ for College Students: Would That Be Cheating?

October 26, 2015

Should students be allowed — or encouraged — to take “smart drugs” so they can get better grades?

That will be the question on the table on Monday when the public affairs program Intelligence Squared — IQ2 — brings its lively debate format to George Washington University.

Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity, Campus Audience Decides After Hearing Both Sides of the Argument

February 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — Before the Intelligence Squared debate held at George Washington University, only one in three audience members said they agreed that liberals are stifling intellectual diversity at colleges and universities, but after hearing both sides of the debate, almost three-fifths of the audience was convinced that liberals are stifling intellectual diversity.

The debate, moderated by John Donvan, an author and correspondent for ABC News, will be aired on National Public Radio stations and is available online.

Encouragingly, Both Sides in Debate on Campus Speech End Up Defending Campus Speech

February 25, 2015

At GW last night, nobody was willing to argue that students should be silenced.

Anyone feeling disheartened by the many ways our First Amendment freedoms are under attack may find solace in the outcome of an event last night hosted by Intelligence Squared at George Washington University. Two teams of two debated whether liberals are stifling intellectual diversity on college campuses—and the side arguing for the proposition won in a landslide.

Interestingly, three of the four participants and both debaters arguing the affirmative indentify as liberals.

Fox News Contributor, Professors Face Off in Free Speech Debate

February 25, 2015

Panelists visiting GW debated whether or not liberals suppressed intellectual diversity on college campuses Tuesday.

The debate, hosted by Intelligence Squared, a non-profit group that organizes discussions around the country, engaged about 100 people in the Jack Morton Auditorium. John Donovan, an author and ABC news correspondent, moderated the event.

Audience members were invited to vote on whether they thought liberals discouraged intellectual diversity on college campuses before and after the discussion. When it began, 33 percent said liberals suppressed intellectual diversity, while 21 percent said they disagreed and 46 percent were undecided.

Campus Debate Convinces: Liberals Stifle Intellectual Diversity on Campus

February 25, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a 90-minute campus debate Tuesday over whether liberals stifle intellectual diversity on college campuses, nearly six in 10 members of the audience agreed – they do.

That according to a vote of the audience taken after the “Intelligence Squared Debate” at George Washington University on the topic of whether “liberals are stifling intellectual diversity on campus.”

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, along with Fox Newscontributor and USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, were able to convince 59 percent of those in attendance that there is a pervasive liberal intolerance of different views on campuses, an atmosphere that hinders free speech and debate.

Amazon and Its Friends

January 26, 2015

During the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney made an off-the-cuff comment about how “corporations are people.” He was mocked but perhaps was ahead of his time. A few years later, corporations are not only people but our friends.

Forget about same-day delivery of diapers or reconnecting with your high school girlfriend or publishing those novels without the aid of an editor or bookstore. The greatest achievement of Silicon Valley has been the marketing of Silicon Valley. Google, Apple, Facebook — they all assert they exist for your benefit, their only goal to amuse and enlighten and help you. To be, in short, your best buddy.

The tech world’s devotion to its customers was put to a vote this month in Manhattan, at one of the Intelligence Squared series of debates. The evening’s topic: “Amazon is the reader’s friend.”

For those nostalgic for last year’s clash between Amazon and Hachette, the debate — expertly moderated by the ABC news correspondent John Donvan — replayed the brawl. The self-published novelist Joe Konrath and the Vox editor Matthew Yglesias argued in favor of the proposition; the novelist Scott Turow and the former New Republic editor Franklin Foer argued against.

Is Amazon a Hero or Monster?

January 16, 2015

A passionate New York debate interrogates Amazon’s dominance in the book market—is it delivering well-priced books efficiently, or a greedy, rapacious behemoth?

What is the true nature of—the online retailing colossus that, like a massive corporate python, has swallowed up the book industry virtually whole?

In terms of cognitive dissonance, it would be difficult to match Thursday night’s Intelligence Squared debate on the proposition, “Amazon Is The Reader’s Friend.”

Is Amazon the Reader’s Friend? – Liveblog

January 15, 2015

I took a wrong turn on the subway and reached Brooklyn before I realized I was a long way from the Kaufman Center in Manhattan. I arrived late at the Intelligence Squared debate on the resolution “Amazon is the Reader’s Friend.”

We are now into questions from the audience. It’s been a fantastic discussion, organized in classic debate style with some innovations introduced by the steady, savvy moderator, John Donvan.

Arguing for the resolution are author Joe Konrath and journalist Matthew Yglesias. Arguing against are author Scott Turow and Franklin Foer, former editor of The New Republic. Here’s what’s happening…

EDWARDS: Bad questions hinder productive debates, conversations

April 23, 2014

“Millennials Don’t Stand a Chance” was the title and winning motion of the April 16 episode of Intelligence Squared, a NPR debate podcast. After an hour of debate, the side arguing against millennials, people born from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, won citing the generations tendencies for optimism and narcissism as being the twin roots of their downfall.

The mismatch problem: Why college football scholarships are not enough

April 22, 2014

Have you ever had a moment when you heard an argument that made you examine a long-held belief?

I had a moment like that recently when listening to an NPR Intelligence Squared podcast on college admissions. Intelligence Squared is a high-quality product, as the debate is civil, fact-heavy, and performed with great skill. In other words, it's everything that cable news is not, sort of like reading the best of the college football internet as opposed to relying on Holtz and May to analyze team strength.

What Millennials Want From The Fashion World

April 15, 2014

Millennials haven’t been dealt a very good hand in life: many have graduated into one of the worst recessions in decades, many have piling amounts of student debt, and many suffer a routine malaise and dissatisfaction with their current status in life.

This bad lot leads many people to believe that millennials are, in fact, doomed, which was the proposition in consideration at last week’s Intelligence Squared debate here in New York City, “Millennials Don’t Stand A Chance.” Four debators participated in the discussion, and the side for the proposition–the side that believed millennial’s don’t stand a chance–ended up winning the debate.

Millennials Stand No Chance, Says One Panel And Auditorium

April 13, 2014

Earlier this week, over the course of two hours, a panel of four speakers and an auditorium of voters at the Kaufman Music Center in New Yok City decided that we millennials stand no chance.

Why I'm Not Buying Football Season Tickets

March 14, 2013

Last May, a group called Intelligence Squared sponsored a debate on whether to ban college football. A portion of the discussion concerned the nature of our “social contract” with higher education, and by extension college sports. New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell’s comment explained the logic to ban college football best: “Nowhere in that social contract does it say that it’s okay to promote and encourage young men to hit themselves over and over again in the head in the name of entertainment.”

Saturday's Child: Why We Should Ban College Football....

May 18, 2012

Everyone who loves college football and the young men who play the game needs to watch this exchange. For the proposition Ban College Football were Buzz Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and Malcolm Gladwell, a well-known, distinguished author currently writing for the New Yorker Magazine. Opposing the proposition that college football be banned were Tim Green, an NFL great who played defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons—recruited out of Syracuse University. Joining Green in opposition to banning college football was Jason Whitlock who played his college football at Ball State as an offensive lineman—now a national columnist for Fox Sports.

Should College Football Be Banned?

May 11, 2012

Ban college football? Blasphemy! Except that’s exactly what more than half of the (fortunately non-policy-making) audience voted to do earlier this week at the Intelligence Squared debate at NYU.

Ban College Football

May 10, 2012

As part of the Intelligence Squared debate series, I teamed with up Buzz Bissinger (of “Friday Night LIghts” fame) in support of the proposition that college football should be banned...

Should College Football Be Banned?

May 09, 2012

Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lighters and former defensive end for the Atlantic Falcons Tim Greene debate the dangers of college football including concussions and it’s lack of academic purpose.

Intelligence Squared U.S. New York Audience Decides to “Ban College Football”

May 09, 2012

Last night, Intelligence Squared U.S. continued its spring 2012 season with a victory for the motion “Ban College Football.” In the final tally, Malcolm Gladwell and Buzz Bissinger won the Oxford-style debate by convincing 37% of the audience to change their minds and oppose the motion. After the debate, 53% of audience members agreed that college football has no place in an academic environment, up from 16% pre-debate.

Ban College Football? Breaking Down a Debate

May 09, 2012

Two prominent writers argued for banning college football on Tuesday night at New York University’s Skirball Center as part of the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates series. Their opponents were two journalists, who also happened to be former players. Buzz Bissinger (the author of the high school football book “Friday Night Lights”) and Malcolm Gladwell (the best-selling author and New Yorker staff writer who compared football to dogfighting) want to get rid of football on campus. Tim Green (a former N.F.L. defensive end) and Jason Whitlock (a Fox Sports correspondent who played football in college) want it to stay.

Should We Ban College Football?

May 07, 2012

Big money, corruption, and injury have put college football in the spotlight. Tomorrow night, Intelligence Squared will debate the idea of banning college football. Buzz Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Friday Night Lights -- and supporter of a ban -- previews the conversation with Tim Green, announcer and former Atlanta Falcons defensive end -- who opposes a ban. Tim Green is also the author of Pinch Hit.

Get Real! Ban College Football?

May 07, 2012

Soledad O'Brien and the Starting Point panel discusses Buzz Bissinger's Wall Street Journal opinion piece, in which he calls for college football to be banned because it "has no academic purpose."

Would Banning College Football Actually Help Academics?

May 07, 2012

Last week, Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger offered his arguments for why college football should be eliminated. The article appears in advance of tomorrow night’s Intelligence Squared debate, in which Bissinger and author Malcolm Gladwell will argue in favor of a ban on college football. They will be opposed by former NFL defensive end Tim Green and sportswriter Jason Whitlock. Bissinger’s piece gets at some serious issues with college football and raises some fantastic questions, but it ultimately misses exactly how important the sport is to academic programs at universities across the nation.