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from the CCLE.
In 2004 the CCLE
published an extensive 50-page policy report, Threats to Cognitive
Liberty: Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War, calling
attention to a dangerous trend that threatens to expand the drug war from
external policing to internal policing. The online version of the
report has been accessed over 14,000 times since it was released on
July 1. Copies of the report were sent to legislators in New Mexico and the
United Kingdom, both of which were considering implementing court-ordered
pharmacotherapy. Both backed off after reviewing our report and speaking
with us. The report will continue to serve as the centerpiece for CCLE
efforts to stop courts and policymakers from employing these new
pharmaceuticals as neurocops.
In 2004 the CCLE’s
work was the subject of significant profiles in major national and
international media, including The Lancet, New Scientist,
Wired, BBC Radio and CBC Radio. The Sept./Oct. issue of SEED Magazine
named Richard Glen Boire one of eighteen “revolutionary minds
redefining science.” These profiles, which were read by millions of
people worldwide, are bringing to larger awareness the crucial question
of what rights and
duties a person has
with regard to his or her own functional neurochemistry.
Answers to this question will help shape the future of drug policy, of
medicine, of religion, and of freedom itself.
This year, we introduced
the cognitive liberty perspective into a number of major forums. Wrye
Sententia represented the CCLE as an invited participant to an
influential European Union planning group charged with advising the EU
on social policies for protecting individual freedom in an age of advancing
neurosciences. Wrye was one of only fifteen expert advisors paid to attend
this meeting in the Netherlands. Among more than a dozen presentations at
conferences and universities in 2004, Wrye also twice debated members of
the President’s Council on Bioethics, a key group that is instrumental
in shaping future US policy with respect to technologies converging on
cognition. She is now working to gain the CCLE official consultant status
with the United Nations, an imprimatur that will further increase our
In 2004, we also
worked hard to educate the public and policy makers on pressing cognitive
liberty issues, including those raised by conditioning a child’s public
education on the use of psycho-stimulants such as Ritalin. While this
project failed to produce the funding needed to continue it on the scale we
imagined, we played an important role in getting more attention paid to the
cognitive liberty issue at the center of this debate. In 2004, the CCLE
also established Judges Against the Drug War, the first-of-its-kind
online database of legal opinions in which judges themselves critique the
injustices caused by criminal drug prohibition. We are currently in the
process of converting the website into a fully open-source collaborative
environment that encourages visitors to play an active role in updating and
expanding the site.
After five years,
during which the CCLE has gone from just an idea to an internationally
recognized Center that has filed briefs in the United States Supreme Court
and consulted with representatives of the European Union, we have learned
what works and what doesn’t. In 2005, we will center our efforts on (1)
cementing a solid theoretical basis for cognitive liberty as a fundamental
right, (2) championing cognitive liberty in the most influential
forums to which we can gain access, and (3) applying it to some of
the most pressing problems facing society.
a solid theoretical basis for cognitive liberty as a fundamental right.
review articles are the established vehicles for advancing new legal
theories. They are relied upon by lawyers and courts, and are influential in
leading new directions in public policy. A scholarly treatment of cognitive
liberty in an influential law review will be a lasting touchstone and
catalyst for unfolding this right in the real world. In 2005, Richard Glen
Boire will research, write, and publish two essential law review articles, a
critical undertaking that has ironically been pushed aside by time demands
of fundraising and short-term grant-driven projects. One article will be a
comprehensive scholarly legal argument for cognitive liberty as a
fundamental right under US and international law. The other article will
argue that it is unlawful to condition a public benefit upon, or to impose
as a condition of probation, the coercive use new pharmaceutical drugs
designed to block the effects of illegal drugs. This article will build upon
the CCLE’s 2004 Pharmacotherapy Report. These law review articles
will get our issues into the information streams that are accessed and
relied upon by attorneys, judges, and policymakers.
Championing cognitive liberty in the most influential forums to which we can
In 2005 the CCLE will
continue to position itself at the heart of the flourishing debate over
neuroethics, working to apply cognitive liberty principles to such critical
public issues as drug policy, mental health, privacy, and security.
Our goal is not to preach to the choir. We seek to create new
lexicons with the potential of reorganizing how society thinks about the
fundamental right to freedom of thought.
addition to participating in as many important public forums as possible
(debates, conferences, print, broadcast media, and the Internet), we are in
the planning process along with the UK’s Institute for Ethics and Emerging
Technologies for a three-day conference to be held in the Fall of 2005, at
UC Berkeley. We will need to raise approximately $10,000 to hold this
conference, which will be another important step toward creating a global
network of scholars and policymakers working to encourage and protect
cognitive liberty. Additionally, in February 2005, the CCLE is honored to
again sponsor and present at the National Science Foundation’s conference on
Improving Human Performance.
Internet continues to be an important and relatively low-cost way of
disseminating our ideas and soliciting input. The CCLE website draws
anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 visitors each month. We will continue to
make it a central source for sharing cognitive liberty information and for
inspiring others to become effective advocates for freedom of thought.
Applying the principle of cognitive liberty to some of the most pressing
problems facing society.
In 2005 we will also continue the CCLE’s role as a vocal participant in
important public policy debates. With the U.S. political climate currently
in retrograde, it is critical to speak out as loudly and convincingly as
possible when cognitive liberty is threatened. Conversely, we will continue
to identify important opportunities for expanding freedom of thought,
and will do our best to spotlight the tremendous importance of fostering and
protecting the unlimited potential of the human mind.
help us accomplish
these goals by joining our community of supporters. All donations are
For more reasons to donate, please read:
Freedom of Thought at the Crossroads