Intelligence

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Now that we know there’s a gene for intelligence, are we going to start breeding little Einsteins? from www.shutterstock.com.au

The ethics of ‘gifted’ genes: the road to Gattaca?

Recent research out of the UK has identified a genetic “general academic achievement factor”. Does this pave the way for genetically testing babies for intelligence?
Believing “math isn’t for everyone” may steer kids away from tackling the challenge. susanrm8

Beliefs about innate talent may dissuade students from STEM

Kids who think being good at mathematics is just a matter of God-given talent are less likely to pursue math-related fields. But research says this kind of belief is misguided.
Foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Mohammad Zarif demonstrated a growing rapport between Australia and Iran in reaching agreement on some but not all fronts during her visit to Tehran. EPA

Ms Bishop goes to Tehran: a story of good news and bad news

Australia made progress on restoring trade and sharing intelligence on Islamic State in Iraq. Iran was less open to accepting the return of asylum seekers, which may prove a blessing in disguise.
Intelligence on the curriculum. Lightbulb via denk creative/Shutterstock

Can we teach intelligence?

As our definitions of what intelligence is change, it might become possible to teach it.
In a new book, author Frank Moorhouse calls for a new compact between intelligence agency ASIO and Australian society. AAP/Dan Peled

Book review: Australia Under Surveillance

Frank Moorhouse is known primarily – but not exclusively – for his award-winning fiction such as the Edith Triology. In more recent times, he has turned his considerable talents to the role of the Australian…
Non-cognitive skills like perseverance and hard work might be more accurate predictors of success than literacy and numeracy quizzes. Shutterstock

School should be about more than just measuring intelligence

Who do you think would do better at school or in the workplace: someone who is smart, but lazy, or someone who is not naturally brilliant but will keep working at a problem until they get it right? Intuitively…
It is hard to police ‘soft targets’ for violent, lone wolf actors without becoming an overpoliced state. AAP/Dean Lewins

Q&A: what we can learn from the Sydney siege, and what next

Sydney is slowly returning to normal after police brought an end to a 16-hour siege in a Martin Place cafe in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The perpetrator, Man Haron Monis, and two hostages, Katrina…
ASIO and Australia’s other intelligence agencies need strong oversight to avoid the type of behaviour that went unchecked in the US after 9/11. AAP/Alan Porritt

Only in America? Australia needs safeguards against torture too

Earlier this week, the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the CIA’s post-9/11 program of detaining and interrogating suspected terrorists during the Bush administration…
Secrets out? EPA/Dennis Brack

Senate CIA torture report release: expert reaction

The US Senate has released the executive summary of a long-withheld report on harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the post-9/11 era. Previously undisclosed techniques have been revealed and…
Speaking to you from an undisclosed location. Chris Goldberg via Flickr

We need to fix the way we talk about national intelligence

In the last few years, the list of sensitive government information made public as a result of unauthorised disclosures has increased exponentially. But who really benefits from these leaks? While they…
Attorney-General George Brandis has introduced laws that cast a blanket of secrecy over the use and potential abuse of sweeping national security powers. AAP/Lukas Coch

National security gags on media force us to trust state will do no wrong

It has been said that the line between good investigative reporting and inappropriate journalistic prying is never clearly drawn. Journalists usually complain long and hard when governments intervene to…
Citing ‘the national interest’ enables Julie Bishop and her government colleagues simply to assert the need for everything from tougher security laws to supplying arms to Iraqi rebels. AAP/Lukas Coch

‘National interest’ figleaf avoids debate on wars and terror laws

“There is no such thing as the national interest,” I tell my first-year Australian foreign policy students. This tends to stop them in their tracks. After all, if there is no such thing as the national…
There’s no one universal ‘intelligence gene’ but many thousands each contributing a small increment – and here are three. Andrew Huff/Flickr (cropped)

Intelligence inheritance – three genes that add to your IQ score

Intelligence, cognitive ability or cognitive performance is usually measured by a battery of tests that aim to quantify skills such as memory and analytical ability. There is loads of variation between…
Journalists face long jail terms for reporting information relating to ‘special intelligence operations’, as declared by ASIO, under the government’s proposed reforms. AAP/Lukas Coch

National security bills compound existing threats to media freedom

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) will publish its report on the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 (Cth) sometime during this sitting of parliament…
You can do better. Answer sheet via Wichy/Shutterstock

Ignore the IQ test: your level of intelligence is not fixed for life

We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries such as the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Such…

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