Are certain ethnic groups predisposed to excel in the classroom? The debate has heated up of late in academic circles. In a new book called Legacy, the geneticist Harry Ostrer of Albert Einstein Medical School argues that Jewish intellectual achievement is the result of genetic makeup and Jews’ fortuity to have lived among cultures that valued academics. Run Unz in the the American Conservative countered with an exhaustive study documenting that contemporary “Jewish students may be far less diligent in their work habits or driven in their studies than were their parents or grandparents.” While American Jews continue to value education, the percentage of geniuses among them seems to be dropping. Asians, Unz claims, are “the New Jews of American intellectual life,” outperforming their peers.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Are Asians the New Jews of American Intellectual Life?
Eliyahu Stern briefly raises the question in an article about Vilna Gaon, The Original Jewish Genius: