A former UK chief drug advisor will be discussing the role of science in the Government’s drugs and alcohol policies in Kingston this month.

Professor David Nutt will present ‘Drugs and alcohol – is it time to put science in charge?’ at January’s meeting of Cafe Scientifique, held every month at Woody’s in Ram Passage, Kingston.

A controversial and outspoken figure, Prof Nutt has clashed repeatedly with Governments over drug classification and the perceived risks of taking illegal substances.

He has claimed the moral message promoted by MPs against taking illegal drugs goes against scientific evidence to the contrary - views that have put him on collision courses with many top politicians.

In 2009 he was sacked as head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, for criticising the Government’s decision to reclassify cannabis to class B from class C.

In the same year he also drew criticism from families of ecstasy victims when he claimed taking the drug was no more dangerous than an addiction to horse riding.

Prof Nutt is currently chairman of nueropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and former president of the European College of Neurophsychohopharmacology.

Last year, he was awarded the international John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science, for "courage in promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest, despite facing difficulty and hostility in doing so".

Cafe Scientifique, Woody’s, Ram Passage, Kingston Tuesday, January 28, 7pm Free Email m.preece@kingston.ac.uk