Columbia Psychiatry’s Carl Hart Wins PEN Literary Award

August 6, 2014

Carl Hart, PhD, associate professor of psychology (in psychiatry), has won the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society” (HarperCollins). The award, which was judged by Akiko Busch, Rivka Galchen, and Eileen Pollack, honors a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2013.

According to the judges’ citation, quoted on PEN’s website,

Dr. Hart’s unflinching view of his past, along with his rigorous academic inquiry, make for a document of innovative thinking and profound humanity. Written with clarity, honesty, and courage, High Price offers a compelling argument to reconsider this country’s policies on drug use, which have proved so ineffective not only from a legal standpoint, but from medical and social perspectives as well.

A major focus of Dr. Hart’s research is the complex interactions between drugs of abuse and the neurobiological and environmental factors that mediate physiology and human behavior. He is also co-author of the textbook “Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior” (McGraw-Hill).