David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

The Many Intelligences of Barack Obama

Question: What kinds of intelligent is President Obama?

Howard Gardner: That's pretty easy, because whenever I describe IQ tests, I say that IQ tests have a combination of language and logic. And if you do well in language and logic, if you can combine them, you'll have a high IQ. And I say that's a selector for who will be a law professor.

And I then mention Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, all three of whom were law professors. And clearly they have high IQ kind of intelligence. It's absolutely clear to me that Obama has enormous intrapersonal intelligence.

His book, Dreams from My Father, is an amazing book, and it's obvious to everybody he has lots of intrapersonal intelligence.

But here's the big question we don't know, and that is, what is his existential intelligence like? Existential intelligence is one that I use kind of playfully, and that's the interest in big questions.

There's no doubt that he's interested in these himself, but it's not clear to what extent he's such a pragmatist, that he will lose that sense of mission, that bigger story.

John Kennedy really achieved nothing, practically, as President. But he had enormous power to excite people, to motivate them to think differently, and that's why we still remember him 50 years after the fact.

And I'm not sure, speaking now in September of '09, whether the existential intelligence which Obama clearly has in his own right is something that he can mobilize more.

Ronald Reagan was able to mobilize that. I don't like what he did, but there was no question that he helped people think about meaning. And we thought that Obama could, but it's just not clear at this point.


Recorded On: September 9, 2009.

Obama is strong in interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic and logical intelligence—but will he continue to ask the big questions?

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Keep reading Show less

Education vs. learning: How semantics can trigger a mind shift

The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.

Future of Learning
  • The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
  • Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
  • Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.
Keep reading Show less