Science of Genius
Scientific American

Book cover image

Narrated By: Ann Richardson

Duration: 6 hours and 14 minutes

What to expect

How do we define genius? Standardized testing to measure intelligence began in the first half of the twentieth century, but a high IQ score is only one way to quantify genius. Another is by virtue of extraordinary achievement and expertise in science and the arts. The second is probably more useful, but these debates illustrate how little we know about the origins, development, or processes of intelligence.

In this audiobook, Eureka! The Science of Genius, we review the latest research on the nature of intellectual and creative achievement, including traits that geniuses tend to share, how much of their ability is nature versus nurture, the cognitive processes involved during the stages of discovery and creativity, and, most importantly, what we can do to enhance intelligence.

While genetics have a large role to play, even geniuses have to work to gain the necessary expertise—although they spend less time to acquire it than their less endowed counterparts. Imaging research also indicates that there is no one “blueprint” for intelligence. Many articles look at either nurturing intelligence in children or enhancing it in adults, and the good news is that intellectual abilities are not set in stone. Research is providing insight into what happens in the brain when we learn, leading to changes in educational practices.

Genre

Biology, life sciences, Philosophy and theory of education

Listen to a sample