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The Black-White IQ Gap

Wednesday November 2007


James R. Flynn Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Otago, New Zealand, Charles Murray, Ph. D., W.H. Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom, American Enterprise Institute

On Wednesday, November 28th, a Manhattan Institute symposium featuring Charles Murray and James Flynn discuss “The Black-White IQ Gap: Understanding the Data and Its Policy Implications.” The goal of the symposium, in the great tradition of New York intellectual life, is to generate a thought-provoking discussion on the important issues of the day.

In an effort to understand the reason for racial differences in educational achievement, scholars have often referred to the mean difference in IQ scores between whites and blacks. The simple existence of the difference is not contested among specialists in the field, but everything else is. Two of the leading scholars of this controversial topic, James R. Flynn of the University of Otago, New Zealand, and Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, will discuss the substantive meaning of the difference, trends in its magnitude, and the implications for social policy.

James R. Flynn is professor emeritus at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and recipient of the university’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Career Research. He is best known for the “Flynn effect,” the documentation of massive IQ gains from one generation to another. His current book is What is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect (Cambridge, 2007). He was recently named “Scientist of the Year” by the International Society for Intelligence Research.

Charles Murray, Ph.D. is the W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He first came to national attention with the publication of Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980 (Basic Books, 1984), written when he was a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He has also authored several other acclaimed books including The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (with Richard J. Herrnstein, Free Press, 1994).