In this article, we analyse content from two recent reports to examine how a public health framework to cognitive enhancement is emerging. We find that, in several areas, these reports provide population-level arguments both for and against the use of cognitive enhancers. In discussing these arguments, we look at how these reports are indicative of potentially innovative frameworks—epidemiological, risk/benefit and socio-historical—by which to explore the public health impact of cognitive enhancement. Finally, we argue that these reports are suggestive of both tensions between the bioethical and public health approaches and are also indicative of how these two frameworks can, in part, be seen as complementary.

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