The Inheritance of Intelligence by Professor John Turner

Date: 18 May 2019
Location: Ely Library

John Turner is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of East Anglia in the School of Biological Sciences. Formerly a Professor of Biology, his research on genetics has led to discovery of genes that regulate defence, fertility, and stunting in a wide range of organisms including plants. His current interest is in variations in the human genome that influence variations in intelligence

My talk will address that most important of all human abilities: the ability to think and reason, which we usually refer to as intelligence. Our intelligence sets us apart from all other life-forms and although some animals do show intelligence, it has not been found to the same extent as it appears in humans. I will make the case that individual humans differ in their intelligence, that these differences are largely inherited, and that intelligence is a major determinant of life’s outcomes. I will present the new research findings that have identified differences in our genes that determine these differences in our intelligence. I will make the case this new knowledge will have powerful influences upon our capacity to discriminate between individuals, which could be used for both good and bad, and which requires very careful scrutiny  at a very early stage – such as now.