Sunday, September 25, 2005

What happens to gifted children when they grow up?

Well, some become gifted researchers at America's best institutions. For the past few years, Popular Science has been choosing a "Brilliant 10" list of scientists whose work will change our perception of the world in the near future. Read about them here:

(from the September issue)

Among the more fun ones: Maryam Mirzakhani, a 28-year-old mathematician at Princeton, is working on calculating the volumes of moduli spaces of curves. Nathan Wolfe, 35, of Johns Hopkins, does field work in Cameroon to study how viruses emerge.

While there's plenty to fret about concerning the declining number of engineering and science PhDs being awarded to Americans, it is good to see US-based researchers still producing plenty of quality work. - Laura


Mark Klein, M.D. said...

Read your USA Today op-ed on boarding schools. Have 4 young adult children.

There's much more to life and child raising than academic resume polishing.

Far too many children and parents nowadays don't realize until it's too late when the magic of childhood's gone, it's gone forever.

JayStarr said...


Hello. I met you at the "Start the Presses" Conference in D.C. The "Magic of Boarding Schools" was an awesome article like everything you else you write.

Right now my news story is at the top of It's about Yes, that Martha!

Speaking of blogs, I may be able to hook you up with a blog site superior to Take great care and best wishes.

JayStarr said...

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Ytreffar Nayr said...

In reply to Mark Klein who posted above:

Yes, I don't think anyone disagrees with your sentiment, which I take to be a warning against pushing children toward career-focused goals to the exclusion of simply being a kid.

But for many, schools like IMSA are not just "resume polishing;" indeed, many kids who go to places like IMSA, Stuyvesant in NYC, or Thomas Jefferson Sci & Tech in Virginia are ecstatic to find a place where they feel they fit in, possibly for the first times in their lives (I speak from personal experience on this topic). Then again, some of my classmates were indeed pushed to attend by overzealous parents; I felt sorry for them, since they were missing out on the soul-expanding experiences that I had at my magnet high school.

Just make sure if your children are offered the opporunity to attend such an institution, that they attend of their own volition. In that case, they may well form their fondest memories there (as opposed to feeling forced into an unwelcome environment).

Laura Vanderkam said...

Thanks for all your responses. I'm going to start an "official" thread about the boarding school article, so we can continue the discussion there. Laura

Douglas Eby said...

While many gifted adults may be recognized by organizations like Popular Science [and the MacArthur Foundation, Kennedy Center etc], the majority are not.

And, as Dr. Linda Silverman notes:
"There's good evidence that many gifted adults - even some who were enrolled in accelerated programs as schoolchildren - may not be fully cognizant of their abilities."

Helping adults be more aware of what impacts the realization of their exceptional abilities is one of the missions of my GT Adults site: