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The Wiley Handbook of Genius by Dean Keith Simonton

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29 Does Genius Science Have a Future History?

Dean Keith Simonton

As must be very apparent by now, our understanding of genius has made major advances since Francis Galton first tackled the subject back in 1869. Not only have a wide assortment of distinct methods been brought to bear on this topic, but also the range of substantive questions and theoretical perspectives has expanded considerably. Moreover, interest in the phenomenon has become very broad, ranging from behavioral genetics to cultural economics and everything between – including various subdisciplines of psychology. Although the preceding chapters in this handbook do a great job describing what has been accomplished thus far, I would like to exploit my position as handbook editor to speculate on the future of the science of genius. Even if that science has a long history, will it continue to generate a history of scientific research? This question actually splits into three interrelated questions. First, will empirical and theoretical research continue to advance? Second, will the phenomenon of genius continue to exist? Third, can theory and data help ensure that the phenomenon continues well into the future?

Will Empirical and Theoretical Research Continue to Advance?

The first question may seem absurd for those readers unfamiliar with the history of psychology and other social sciences: Will genius science progress from here? Alternatively, does the current handbook represent the culmination and termination? ...

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