Genetics and the social sciences have a troubled history. However, within the last decade, techniques have been developed for the measurement and utilization of individual genetic profiles. The advent of these techniques, as well as the increasing salience of genetic information across many areas of society, offers an opportunity for revisiting and revising old ideas of how genetics are related to educational attainment. To that end, I discuss recent results from genetically informed studies focusing on educational attainment. I also discuss preliminary results from new research, including evidence about the changing influence of genetics over recent US history.
Ben Domingue is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. He has two areas of active research. The first focuses on statewide standardized test scores and their uses, particularly how test scores are used in statistical models that evaluate the effectiveness of teachers and schools. On a technical level, he also is interested in the extent to which test scores and the data from which they are drawn demonstrate certain desirable properties. The second area of research focuses on the integration of genetic data into social science research. In particular, he is interested in understanding the genetic architecture of educational attainment and the way in which schools can and do moderate the association between genes and educational attainment.