SotF – Stuart Ritchie – Why is IQ so controversial?

Friday 21 August 2015, 7:50 pm - 8:50 pm
At: Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG


Stuart Ritchie

Dr Stuart Ritchie

Smart people don’t like the idea of IQ testing. Even though the tests are some of the most useful measures we have in psychology, they have a toxic reputation: mention IQ in polite company and you’ll be accused of being an elitist, or perhaps worse.

This talk will first make the case that IQ scores are meaningful: we’ll discuss the evidence from a century of research in psychology, neuroscience, genetics, and medicine. Then, we’ll discuss the history of the ‘IQ controversy’. Why are these tests so maligned? How much of the criticism is deserved? What does the future hold for the science of human intelligence?


Stuart Ritchie has spoken for us on topics ranging from Shakespeare to pornography. We are delighted he’s bringing his energy and insight to us again during this year’s Fringe.

Stuart is a postdoctoral fellow in the Psychology Department at the University of Edinburgh. He researches how intelligence changes across the lifespan, and how it relates to genetics, the brain, and education.

His research has been published in journals such as the Current Biology, Journal of Neuroscience, and Psychological Science.

Stuart has just had a book published – Intelligence: All that Matters.

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