Maybe, but we seriously doubt racists want to be "cured."
Researchers performed a study to see how the beta-blocker, Propranolol, affects the brain.
In the study, the normally heart diseased prescribed drug was given to half the subjects while a placebo was given to the other half as a control.
The results found that the Propranolol users were less prejudiced than the placebo group. But, this was only found in a third of the entire study, none in the placebo group, and it affected only implicit racial bias versus explicit bias.
In laymen's terms: They were less racist subconsciously but the drug had no effect on their outward prejudice.
The scientists willing admit that their study could raise a few skeptical eyebrows. While racisim is primarily based on fear and Propranolol affects that area of the brain, they did admit the lowered heart rate of the subjects could also play a part as well.
Co-author Professor Julian Savulescu shoots down any possible speculation of a "cure:"
Such research raises the tantalising possibility that our unconscious racial attitudes could be modulated using drugs, a possibility that requires careful ethical analysis.
Biological research aiming to make people morally better has a dark history. And propranolol is not a pill to cure racism. But given that many people are already using drugs like propranolol which have 'moral' side effects, we at least need to better understand what these effects are.
At least this study can be called a moral victory!
Tags: heart disease pill, prejudice, propranolol, racisim, society