Medical X-Press – Ken Branson
“When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think. Those are the findings of Rutgers University psychologists Louis Matzel and Bruno Sauce, based on an integrative review of recent studies on the nature of human intelligence. Their study is published in the December issue of the Psychological Bulletin, a journal of the American Psychological Association.” (more)
The 74 Million – Kate Stringer
“Who run the world? If you ask Beyoncé, girls. But if you ask actual girls, the answer might be very different. A new national survey of nearly 11,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 18 shows that many lose confidence as they grow older, don’t view themselves as smart despite high GPAs, don’t believe they are good enough for their dream job, get depressed from social media, and feel pressured to sext. Despite this lack of confidence, most girls in the survey said they like to be in charge — but many fear taking leadership positions because they might be thought of as bossy.”(more)
KQED News Mind/Shift Katherine Hobson
“Girls in the first few years of elementary school are less likely than boys to say that their own gender is “really, really smart,” and less likely to opt into a game described as being for super-smart kids, research finds. The study, which appears Thursday in Science, comes amid a push to figure out why women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. One line of research involves stereotypes, and how they might influence academic and career choices. Andrei Cimpian, a professor of psychology at New York University and an author of the study, says his lab’s previous work showed that women were particularly underrepresented in both STEM and humanities fields whose members thought you needed to be brilliant — that is, to have innate talent — to succeed.”(more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
We are the cusp of modifying, controlling, and creating life. Human to human brain sharing, artificial life forms, and robot swarms are all reality. Even though these technologies are in the early stages of development and are still too expensive and complicated for widespread use, it is not too early to start preparing for the eventual impact these discoveries will have on society.
Unlike earlier scientific advances, these breakthroughs come with a myriad of ethical issues. What kind of security is necessary to protect individuals from having information shared or removed from their brains? What are the safety issues and risks associated with releasing artificial life forms into the environment? Should man be playing God and creating life that does not exist in nature? What happens if robots work together without humans?
Unsettling, certainly. Terrifying, if our children are not able to keep their brains and bodies safe.
There is a delicate balance between the benefits of these new technologies and safety. Used in the right ways, these scientific advances could provide everyone with a much higher quality of life. Used in the wrong ways, these discoveries could lead to the destruction of humankind.
As a result, it is imperative that parents prepare their children to ask good questions and make wise decisions about the use of these new technologies.
First, parents must embrace change. Even though it was not imperative to understand science 30 years ago, it is now. This means science education needs to be a top priority for all children. Science, especially chemistry and physics, requires a strong math background, so kids need high math proficiency as well. Fortunately, there are many free online tools available to supplement what children learn at school including courses and materials available through the Kahn Academy, MIT, and Stanford.
Academic learning alone, however, is not enough. Everyone needs to be aware of the latest technical advances. Many articles about scientific discoveries are now written for a lay people, so it is possible for the general population to stay up to date on the latest innovations.
In addition to encouraging children to read about cutting edge scientific research, it is also important to talk about the potential positives and negatives of these new technologies. As with drugs and alcohol, discussion and awareness helps prepare kids to make wise decisions about how they will allow these technologies to interact with their bodies and lives.
Medical Daily – Dana Dovey
“Do hard work and dedication lead to good grades, or is intelligence inherent, and no amount of studying can make us “smarter?” Educators and students have been debating this question for years, but here’s what science has to say about how our genes and environment influence intelligence.”(more)
Time – Eric Barker
“I’ve explored the science behind what makes kids happier, what type of parenting works best and what makes for joyful families. But what makes children — from babies up through the teen years — smarter? Here are 10 things science says can help:.”(more)