When Can You Trust The Experts?

“If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard Feynman

More Gifted Students: Harder To Get Into The Ivies?

Over at The Upshot, David Leonhardt provides data showing that it is harder than ever to get into one of the Ivies. Could a Flynn effect for geniuses, or more gifted students today than ever before, be part of the explanation?

Do We Have Trouble Taking Objective Feedback?

This cartoon has been shared well over 300,000 times. It is from Quick Meme and is titled “Our Education System In A Nutshell.” It apparently resonates widely with people. It initially resonated with me. Until I actually stopped to think.

We Need To Value Spatial Creativity

At 16, Albert Einstein wrote his first scientific paper titled “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields.” This was the result of his famous gedanken experiment in which he visually imagined chasing after a light beam. The insights he gained from this thought experiment led to the development of his theory of special relativity.

Even Nerds Need To Be Appropriately Challenged

What happens when there is a large gap between research understanding and public understanding? I discuss this in the context of educational acceleration for gifted kids.

Train Your Brain With a Simple New Game: "Three Words"

If you enjoy playing Scrabble, you might like a new game I recently discovered called three words created by software engineer Jason Tan. It takes basic elements of Scrabble and turns them into a puzzle. You have to use the letters given to create three words that fill the blank squares to maximize your score.

How Much Do Parents Determine Their Children’s Success?

Should you have a kid? More than one kid? How much can you influence them? “Parents picture kids as clay they mold for life, when they’re actually more like flexible plastic that responds to pressure, but pops back into its original shape when the pressure is released.” - Bryan Caplan

Why the SAT Needs to Be Harder

Everyone is now discussing the new SAT overhaul. Much focus seems to be on specific test content changes. However, at least in selective college admissions, one aspect of the test remains ignored: the SAT is still too easy for the most academically talented students.

8 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Innovation

Here are eight simple strategies to improve your innovation.

The Olympics: 5 Things You Can Learn About Talent & Practice

Elite sports competition generates a lot of discussion and debate. Much is bar stool yapping about who was the best ever but some is more serious about topics that include the role of talent and practice in elite performance. So, here are a few thoughts about talent and practice that you might ponder during the Olympics.

Where Can Smart People Have The Greatest Impact?

Are smart people being channeled down certain pathways to their and our detriment? Instead, should they be building ventures that help build local communities? Where can they have the greatest impact? I talk with Andrew Yang, founder of Venture For America and author of Smart People Should Build Things, to explore these important questions.

Are Wealthier Congress Members Also Smarter?

Recently the Center For Responsive Politics reported the majority of U.S. Congress members are millionaires. But are more educated (and perhaps brainier) Congress members more likely to have a higher net worth?

Want to Get Smarter? Read Something on This List

There’s a lot of hope today that playing mindless brain training games will make you smarter. But instead of trying a quick fix, why not read something that will really work out your brain? It may not be easy, but perhaps you’ll actually learn something by wrestling with difficult material.

We Are Not As Smart As We Think

A conversation with Tyler Cowen, author of Average Is Over, on the skills that will be needed to survive in the next century.

Collective Intelligence: Help The World Create An IQ Test

You’ve seen those IQ tests online and you probably wonder who makes them. Well now you can actually become the test inventor rather than test taker in a new project from the M.I.T. Center For Collective Intelligence.

What's the Smartest Country In the World?

It's not the country you would think.

Nine Ways To Become Smarter Than You Think

Some lessons from tech journalist Clive Thompson on how to get smarter, with and without technology.

Does Technology Make You Smarter Than You Think?

Bill Keller of The New York Times has said Twitter is “the enemy of contemplation.” Yet tech journalist Clive Thompson thinks ever new technologies, although sometimes distracting, on net have made us much smarter because we are social beings and a great deal of our thinking occurs outside our minds.

We Have Entered The Golden Age of Visual Storytelling

They say a picture is worth a thousand words—maybe even more. And this is not only because visuals can speak to us emotionally in ways words cannot, but also because if done correctly, they can cut through the verbal noise to communicate a complicated idea very clearly and concisely.

Who’s Smarter? Republicans and Democrats In Congress

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” - Mark Twain "Congress's Average I.Q. Expected to Rise in 2015" - The Borowitz Report

Attractiveness and the IQ Levels of College Disciplines

Does the relationship between attractiveness and IQ depend on gender?

Why Life Is Really The Ultimate IQ Test

Scott Barry Kaufman is one of those rare people who is truly passionate about what he does. I’ve met a lot of people who are engaged by their work and enjoy it, but not many people who take their work and craft so seriously, and with so much energy and enthusiasm, and in such an unconventional way.

Being Around Smart People Makes Us More Innovative

“In today’s economy, it’s not necessarily what you do or who you know—it’s where you live.”

Lee Smolin Encourages Graduate Student to Stay in Science

A graduate student recently wrote a scathing 2,800 word letter critiquing academia titled: "An aspiring scientist's frustration with modern-day academia: A resignation." However, the most interesting response was the physicist Lee Smolin's letter of encouragement to the student to stay in science.

Are Elite Athletes Marrying Elite Athletes?

A conversation with David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, on whether elite athletes are marrying elite athletes, the tremendous natural range among athletes, how slow kids never make fast adults, the likelihood of becoming an elite athlete, the worldwide search for athletic talent, and how motivation and grit could be, in part, genetic, among other topics.

Anatomy of a Dissertation Defense

Have you ever wondered what happens in a dissertation defense? This guy literally put his heart to the test. Check out this Ph.D. comic brought to life.

How to Think Like a Scientist

Have you ever wondered how a scientist makes discoveries? Here are some strategies that can help all of us when trying to solve puzzles or mysteries of any kind, not just those in science.

Why Are There Not More STEM Majors?

A recent paper concludes: "The substantial overoptimism about completing a degree in science can be attributed largely to students beginning school with misperceptions about their ability to perform well academically in science." What can we do to encourage individuals to major in STEM while making sure they have realistic expectations?

Project Scientist: Inspiring the Next Generation of Females

How can we encourage more girls and women to pursue STEM fields? Former NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Sandy Marshall shares why she founded Project Scientist, and how she hopes it will impact future generations.

The Art of Communicating Science

I talked with Karl Bates, director of research communications at Duke, about what he has learned through his experience working with scientists to help communicate what they do. We discussed what scientists need to know about journalists and the public, and what journalists need to know about scientists. Better relationships between these groups would benefit society.