A Dopey Idea

When Britain's House of Lords appointed 15 nonpolitical peers on the basis of achievement and expertise as part of a radical overhaul, Susan Greenfield was an obvious choice. She holds the chair in Synaptic Pharmacology at Oxford University and is the first woman director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a premier research center. She has published more than 150 academic papers and been awarded 18 honorary degrees.

Yet Greenfield, 51, is the very antithesis of a fusty professor. She writes popular-science books, presents TV series like last year's Brain Story on the BBC and delivers public...

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