Professor David Nutt public lecture - Drugs without the hot air: A proper assessment of drug harms and their relative dangers Event as iCalendar

06 December 2013

Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco products, are a major cause of harms to individuals and society.

In 2010, Professor David Nutt convened a panel of experts with specialist knowledge on the pharmacological, psychological, social and legal aspects of drug harms to rate each of the 20 most commonly used drugs in the UK today, in terms of harm to self and harm to others. In this presentation, Professor Nutt shares his findings from this assessment, as well as from his recent book Drugs without the hot air: minimising the harms of legal and illegal drugs (2012). He discusses the increasing need for a coherent, evidence-based drugs policy that enables individuals to make informed decisions about the consequences of their drug use.

View the slides with an audio recording of the lecture

Or, download a copy of the slide presentation:
Professor David Nutt


A psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specialising in the research of drugs that affect the brain, David Nutt is the Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London.

He is currently Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and Past-President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), Vice-President of the European Brain Council and President of the British Neuroscience Association. He has published over 400 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and books chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 27 books, including most recently Drugs Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (2012). 

In 2010 The Times Eureka science magazine included him in the 100 most important figures in British Science, and the only psychiatrist.

On 4 November 2013, Professor David Nutt was announced as the winner of the 2013 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science, an international prize for courage in promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest, despite facing difficulty and hostility in doing so. The judges awarded the prize to Professor Nutt in recognition of the impact his thinking and actions have had in influencing evidence-based classification of drugs, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world, and his continued courage and commitment to rational debate, despite opposition and public criticism.

Read about the award and view an interview with Professor Nutt on the Imperial College website.

Watch Professor Nutt in an interview with TV3 Firstline on 6 December 2013.

Hear Kathryn Ryan of Radio New Zealand interview Professor Nutt about the John Maddox Prize and his work standing up for science (7 November 2013).