Welcome to:
Chris Brand -- Psychorealist

There are 3 main offshoots from the homepage of the controversial Edinburgh psychologist who has fought for liberalism and realism:
1.  BRAND's BATTLES against political correctness as seen by others (see this page, below)
2. 
ISSUES of scientific importance to differential psychology
3. 
HISTORY OF C.B. versus P.C., by Chris Brand -- e.g. Wiley & Edinburgh University versus Brand.

 

 

 

FOR A RECENT INTERVIEW WITH BRAND,
GOT TO http://www.angryharry.com/tickertape140301.htm.

 


1.  Chris BRAND's BATTLES against political correctness
-- as seen by other academics and the press

Reviews of The g Factor (Chichester, UK : Wiley, 1996)
    (1)   The g Factor was reviewed in Nature (2 May 1996, p.33) by N. J. Mackintosh, Professor of Psychology, University of Cambridge, as a "radical libertarian" contribution to debates on education providing "spirited attacks on….Stephen Jay Gould and Steven Rose [and] the massed battalions of the politically correct…." Mackintosh said "[Brand] develops a strong argument for individual freedom of choice in education." The book said that children are not largely the creatures (let alone the victims) of their environments, except in so far as adults deny them serious choice; and that parents, after receiving advice about IQ, should be able to help children choose how fast they progress through school {cf. 'fast track learning', advocated by Mr Tony Blair in February, 1996}. Mackintosh condemned Wiley's "singularly cack-handed attempt at censorship" which, he said, raised doubts about the firm's "good sense, competence and integrity."
    
(2)   An Edinburgh Psychology Honours student wrote a Brief Summary / review of The g Factor for Student [Edinburgh University's student newspaper]. An extract:
"Brand thinks that once we are all comfortable and realistic about the notion of intelligence we can accept systems of education geared to our intelligence levels. He goes beyond the ideas of streaming and suggests that, given the choice, children would naturally select classes pitched at their own IQ levels: "Clever children would no longer be let down by a state educational system providing a cross between a child-minding service and a reformatory.""
    (3)   Brand's non-PC book and 'Kids' Lib.' views quickly fell foul of the educational establishments of the UK and the USA. Yet a prize-winning postgraduate student of Animal Behaviour writes from the USA:
"My main advisor just finished reading TgF (he's the primate/comparative/animal personality guy) and he really enjoyed it a great deal. He has no clue as to why Wiley depublished the book seeing that there is nothing remotely offensive about it. (He'd be opposed to depublishing in any event of course; but he just does not see the logic in Wiley's decision!)"
    
(4)   New Scientist wrote in an editorial (May 1996):
"It is….a great pity that the book will not now be speedily published, for it is probably the best argued treatise from the general intelligence camp. For the many that will disagree violently with every step of its argument, this is the book to stimulate a true scientific debate."
    
(5)   A quasi-review by Kenan Malik in the Spectator ('An unintelligent debate', 2 May 1996) was critical of The g Factor but also of its suppression.Likewise the leftist Marek Kohn rejected the censorship.
   (6)  American Renaissance reviewed The g Factor in July, 1996, saying:
The existence of g is still a hotly debated topic in psychology, but Christopher Brand has assembled some of the best evidence yet to show that it is real, can be measured, and is one of the most important determinants of success in life.”
    (7)   A substantial summary and review was published by economics professor Ed Miller (University of New Orleans) in the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, 1996. Miller finds it surprising that such a 'mainstream' book which advocates more scholastic choice for parents and children (in line with children's abilities) should have caused such controversy.
    (8)   In 1997, my sceptical views on feminism were said to have ‘angered’ a South African feminist theologian, Denise Ackermann. Left-ish UK journalist Marek Kohn summarized the Brand affair at http://www.indexoncensorship.org/399/kohn.html.
    (9)   Another left-wing intellectual, Kenan Malik, (though deploring French constructivism) questioned the suppression of The g Factor: http://www.cinemaxs.co.uk/freethinker/page08.html. He wrote: "Brand's arguments sit squarely in an intellectual tradition that includes Hans Eysenck, Arthur Jensen and Charles Murray. To the post-war liberal generation, the arguments of these writers may seem unpalatable or misguided. But surely such writers have every right to raise questions about orthodox assumptions on race and intelligence, and to answer them in the way they think fit?"
    (10)   The on-line bookstore, Amazon carries the following 'five-star' customer review (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471960705/102-9505282-7150403):
Excellent overview of debate
Reviewer: A reader from Houston, Texas; February 28, 1999
This is simply an excellent book. It is well written, the general interest is high, and the prose sparkles like champagne. As a book on the subject of psychometrics, it is superb writing, and Brand manages to capture the crux of the debate in clear, crisp informative style. An interesting point of the book is his tackling of the more difficult issues of intelligence, like the types of heritablility, the evidence marshalled indicating differences in group IQ, and discussions of the evidence given regarding the arguments against IQ as it is now being studied. This book is a different format than The Bell Curve, as it uses less correlative data for social impact of IQ, but it hits on the overall issues in much more depth than The Bell Curve gave, and it is not a policy recommendation book. Overall, a very good book. Buy it to anger the folks who would see it panned and because of its merits.
     
(11)    "I just finished your splendid book. Frankly, I can't imagine what more could be said intelligently about intelligence. Bravo!" – Professor David Cohen, University of Texas at Austin, November 2000. (David Cohen is the author of Stranger in the Nest:Do Parents Really Shape Their Child's Personality, Intelligence or Character, New York : Wiley DePublisher, 1999.)

You would like to read The g Factor?
For the FREE on-line 2001 edition of Brand's book, THE g FACTOR, go to:
http://www.douance.org/qi/brandtgf.htm.

    In the USA, copies of the original are held in Harvard University Library, the University of Arizona Library and the Library of Congress, Washington, and by quite a few of the psychologists who contribute to the journal Intelligence. In Belgium, there is a copy in the Library of the Psychology Faculty at the University of Ghent. In Australia, the Universities of Adelaide, Deakin, Melbourne, Monash, and Swinburne all have copies, as do the State Library of Victoria and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
    In Britain, the book is kept in
Edinburgh University (3 copies), in London University, in Cambridge University Library [from which it can be borrowed on request], in Warwick University and in Linlithgow; and it is obtainable more widely by Inter-Library Loans (e.g. isd@libhq.demon.co.uk or ILL@FSI.LI.MAN.AC.UK).
    Reviews of The
g Factor are published at Amazon Books. For author's own summary of The g Factor, see Upstream or [for the concluding section of Chapter 4, 'Intelligence in Society' -- containing policy recommendations] TgF NewsLetter 3 v '96. A summary of the book's practical proposals for education was published as 'Doing something about g' in the American journal Intelligence (22, 3, 311-326, 1996). The Bibliography for The g Factor (giving full coverage of IQ in the 1990's) is displayed at <http://travel.to/race>. A recent volume co-edited by Brand for the Galton Institute, Biological and Social Aspects of Intelligence (Cambridge University Press, 1996) can be loaned from the British Documents Supply Centre, tel.: (44) (0) 1937 843434. It contains a chapter by Brand on 'The importance of intelligence in Western societies.'
 
    
To write your own review of The g Factor for Amazon Books, go to: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471960705/ref=pd_rhf_p_1/107-7183034-5306149
    To vote on The g Factor's main educational proposal ('track choice') and to see how others have voted, go to:
http://www.newciv.org/GIB/diyfut/DIY-14.HTML

Press concerning the affair of The g Factor
SOME EARLY EXTRACTS:
Independent on Sunday [London] 14 April 1996:
"[Chris Brand is] convinced of the intellectual inequality of different races. For example, "Hong Kong is as advanced as many western cities. Africa, however, remains the utterly dark continent." ….Other psychologists find this not only repellent but misconceived."
(Scottish) Daily Express 15 April 1996:
"An academic storm broke out last night over a top psychologist's claim that black people are less intelligent than whites. Edinburgh University psychology lecturer Chris Brand [said]: "There are many problems that are presented by American blacks -- in terms of illiteracy, low achievement and births outside of wedlock. These problems are largely traceable to low average IQ." Angry Glasgow University professor Nigel Grant claimed Mr Brand was a fool and the book also sparked condemnation from politicians yesterday…. [Grant] said: "Chris Brand is a fool and his views are dangerous if believed. I have checked with physiologists and biologists and there is no difference. It is completely inaccurate to define it through race."
The Herald [Glasgow] 15 April 1996:
"….Mr Brand argues that acceptance of the reality of unequal intelligence would help millions escape the poverty trap. ….[But] Ms Sally Witcher, director of Child Poverty Action Group, said: "His whole idea is bizarre. ….He shows a complete misunderstanding of the nature of poverty. People aren't poor because they are stupid."
Daily Telegraph [London] 16 April 1996:
"Claims by an academic that black people are less intelligent than white, and that single women of limited intelligence should find men with higher IQs to father their children were described as "preposterous and dangerous" yesterday [by Michael Howe, a psychology professor at Exeter University who said "IQ is just a score on a test"]. {However,} Chris Brand, a lecturer at the department of psychology at Edinburgh University, denied that his ideas were controversial and said it was time people faced up to such difficult issues. ….[Brand] said his views on black intelligence were based on 30 years of research in America which many people had tried, and failed to discredit. "People say that when you talk about IQ that you will end up with gas chambers. But we simply have to make sure there is no slippery slope. The anti-racist movement tries to get as many people as possible feeling guilty. I do not mind being called a scientific racist. I want to help people with problems caused by low IQ. The way in which I would try to explain higher levels of crime and out of wedlock births would not be by referring to blackness or race, but to IQ which does most of the explanatory work." He added that the narrowing of socio-economic differences between the races, and attempts to improve the lot of black people, including better nutrition, better health care and more integration, had not made "a jot or a tittle of difference" to the IQ gap."
Times Educational Supplement, 19 April 1996 (James Montgomery)
Edinburgh University psychologist Christopher Brand follows in the footsteps of The Bell Curve, a book by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray which caused a furore by linking race and intelligence. Citing studies of adopted children and twins raised apart, Brand argues that differences in intellectual ability are the result of a fixed and hereditary general intelligence. Genetic factors may account for up to 75 per cent of variation in intellectual ability and have an important bearing on academic ability as well as probable success in later life, he claims. Brand endorses Herrnstein and Murray's racist view that Afro-Caribbeans are less intelligent than Asians and whites, and discusses the possibility of encouraging low-IQ teenagers to choose partners of higher IQ to raise the intelligence of the next generation. However, his views are likely to be rejected by academics and educationists who increasingly view such theories as unreliable or irrelevant. Rejecting environmental explanations of IQ, Brand argues that general intelligence - or the "g factor" - has been denied by experts in Britain in the face of mounting empirical evidence, often for ideological reasons. A severe critic of comprehensive education, he defends Cyril Burt, the psychologist whose theories about inherited intelligence and testing lay behind the introduction of the 11-plus exam. Subsequent research has "entirely vindicated" Burt's conclusions, he says.
    Brand, a former prison psychologist whose academic research has involved a particular measure of IQ known as inspection time testing, goes on to call for radical educational reform, including self-streaming, pupil empowerment and accelerated learning. "Instead of state schools providing a cross between a child-minding service and a reformatory, children should be allowed, at any time of day, a choice of classes of varying difficulty levels . . . streamed children of all ability levels have been found to be happier and to reach higher levels of attainment. " He adds: "The 25-year experiment with comprehensive schools in Britain has not even helped those who are so often put forward as the prime concern of the modern educator: children of working-class origins now provide a lower percentage of university students than they did in 1970. "Without special provision for the bright that streaming makes, secondary-school performance becomes mainly a matter of persistence with babyish exercises that are only tolerable to middle-class students who have extremely middle-class aspirations."

Sunday Times
[London], 21 April 1996 (News Review p. 2):
"Like [Professor Richard] Lynn, Brand says low IQ is behind many of society's greatest problems, from violence to child abuse. "The more stupid boys like watching violent TV and, also at an early age, are recorded by their teachers as being more aggressive. It's not poverty that shows the really big link to child abuse, it's having a low IQ," says Brand. ….[But at University College London, Professor Steve] Jones suspects that psychologists such as Lynn and Brand have a political axe to grind and are misunderstanding the limitations of genetics in the process. ….For geneticists like Jones, books such as The Bell Curve and The g Factor illustrate the great divide between psychology and the science of the genes."
Evening News [Edinburgh] 23 April 1996
"[Melanist theorists] believe pigment makes blacks intellectual and spiritual. Black scientist Rick Kittles has studied melanin and claims black children, on average, walk and talk slightly earlier than whites. He says the pigment also allows them to cope with loud noises better. Professor Steve Jones -- [a geneticist] who has written a book to accompany [a TV series including melanist claims] -- makes clear he gives no more credence to the melanist theory than he does to the arguments of Mr Brand. But he said: "If you are going to adhere to any of these theories it is better to come down on the side of the underdog." He added: "There is no point in denying that IQ is heritable, but that doesn't mean that the differences cannot be changed.""
Guardian [London] 1 May 1996:
"[Brand's New York publishers, John Wiley & Sons] withdrew the book. "The management does not want to support these views by disseminating them or be associated with a book that makes assertions that we find repellent," said a spokesman. Shortly afterwards, students voted to have Brand removed from his teaching responsibilities. The next day, Edinburgh University's principal, Sir Stewart Sutherland, said he found Brand's views were "false and personally obnoxious." ….The central tenet that all race scientists [in North America, Arthur Jensen, Charles Murray and Jean Philippe Rushton] share is that the IQ of black people is 15 points lower than white people and that this cannot be explained away by social factors. "Almost the full Afro-American deficit could be detected in children as young as three years, born to black mothers who were themselves college educated, married and had no pregnancy complications or health problems," writes Brand in The g Factor. ….Psychologists of great repute are lining up to rubbish the theories expounded by the race scientists. Professor Steven Rose, a leading neuroscientist and director of the Brain and Behaviour Research group of the Open University [says]: "We have been over all this ground a very considerable time ago, along with questions of whether IQ measures anything at all." [However, Emeritus Professor] Richard Lynn said: "If we are talking about people who believe there are genetic differences between the races, then {like Chris Brand} I am definitely a scientific racist."
Science 3 May 1996:
"….Asked if he were a racist, Brand told….The Scotsman that he might be called a "scientific racist" because "I do think not only that there's a link between race and psychology, in particular between race and IQ, but of course I think and have the honesty to tell you -- other people wouldn't -- that the link is, shall I call it, deep-seated?" Such statements evoked outrage headlines, protests from members of Parliament, student boycotts of his lectures, calls for his resignation -- and a change of heart at [his publisher] Wiley. ….Many of Brand's colleagues have expressed dismay over Wiley's action. "I thought we were moving away from this political correctness sort of thing. It just boggles the mind," says psychologist Thomas Bouchard of the University of Minnesota. Psychologist James Flynn of the University of New Zealand sent an e-mail to colleagues supporting Brand even though he disagrees with his views on race differences in IQ. Says Flynn: "The cowardice of publishers is a real problem that makes progress toward understanding the real world…difficult."
Evening News [Edinburgh] 17 May 1996:
"Around 200 students packed a lecture theatre at the university to hear Mr Brand's controversial race theories denounced by Euro MP Glynn Ford, Professor Steven Rose and Anti-Nazi League national organizer Brian Richardson. ….Professor Rose said: "The g Factor is not science, it is madness."


To comment on material at this website, or to ask for Internet posting of particular documents, please e-mail cbrand@cycad.com or brand@crispian.demon.co.uk.

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 First published on the Web: viii 1997
Last substantial revision: iv 2000
Last modified: 12 i 2005