Helmuth Nyborg

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Helmuth Sørensen Nyborg
Born (1937-01-05) 5 January 1937 (age 79)
Citizenship Danish
Fields Developmental psychology
Institutions Aarhus University
Known for Kayaking, Heritability of IQ, Sex and intelligence
Olympic medal record
Men's canoe sprint
Bronze medal – third place 1960 Rome K-1 4 × 500 m

Helmuth Sørensen Nyborg (born 5 January 1937) is a former professor of developmental psychology at Aarhus University, Denmark and Olympic canoeist. His main research topic is the connection between hormones and intelligence. Among other things, he has worked on increasing the intelligence of girls with Turner's syndrome by giving them estrogen. His research has been widely criticized, and in 2007, after having been accused of scientific misconduct, he received a warning from Aarhus University for producing research of unacceptably low quality. In 2007 he retired.[1][2]

Nyborg is a controversial figure among the Danish public for his research on topics such as the inheritance of intelligence and the relationship between sex and intelligence. His article in Personality and Individual Differences, in which he reports a 5-point average IQ difference in favour of men,[3] has led to strong reactions in the Danish public and academia, for example in an editorial by the Danish newspaper Politiken.[4] A recent article proposing that migration from third world countries to Denmark would cause a dysgenic effect on the country's average IQ over time, has led to Nyborg being indicted to the Danish Council for Scientific Misconduct a second time, accused of committing scientific fraud by using statistic models of population growth known to be erroneous and for not properly attributing the source of the model.[5][6][7]

In his research Nyborg has argued that white people tend to be more intelligent than blacks[8] that immigration from non-Western countries leads to a decline in the average intelligence of the receiving Western country[9] and that atheists tend to be more intelligent than religious people.[10][11][12][13] On 31 October 2013 he was convicted of scientific misconduct by the Danish Council for Scientific Misconduct after a 2-year investigation concerning his paper The decay of Western civilization: Double relaxed Darwinian selection[14] published in Personality and Individual Differences.[15]

2005 controversial paper[edit]

Nyborg's 2005 paper Sex-related differences in general intelligence g, brain size, and social status [3] was published in Personality and Individual Differences. Nyborg was suspended following criticism of his research.[16] Aarhus University assembled a committee to investigate, and found him innocent of fraud, but guilty of "grossly negligent behavior" and gave him a severe reprimand.[16] He was eventually acquitted by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty of the charges of scientific misconduct and the university was forced to reinstall him to his chair.[17] On 21 September 2006, the university gave Nyborg a "severe reprimand", revoked his suspension, and declared the case closed.[18] According to a 2006 news story in Science: "Colleagues from around the world have rallied to his defense, accusing the university of having political motives, and claiming that the errors in his research were trivial."[16] After the DCSD cleared Nyborg of the charges of scientific misconduct, two Aarhus University professors, Lise Togeby and Jens Mammen resigned from their positions in the DCSD, citing that the DCSD operated from too narrow of a framework.[19]

2011 "Revolt Against Civilization" Seminar[edit]

On May 28–29, 2011, Nyborg was a keynote speaker at the seminar "Revolt against Civilization" staged by the holocaust denial organization "Dansk Selskab for Fri Historisk Forskning" ("Danish Society for Free Historical Research"),[20] where he was photographed alongside the other speakers including David Duke, Kevin B. MacDonald and Tomislav Sunić.[21]

2011 controversy[edit]

In 2011 Nyborg published "The Decay of Western Civilization: Double Relaxed Darwinian Selection"[22] in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, arguing that Denmark was likely to experience a dysgenic effect on intelligence due to immigration from the Middle East. Following publication he was again indicted by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty, accused of scientific misconduct and of plagiarism by a number of scholars from the University of Aarhus. They accused him of using a statistical model for the demographic prognoses that was based on the work of Jørn Ebbe Vig, without giving credit, and for using misleading statistics by assuming that Middle Eastern people in Denmark maintained the same reproduction rates as in their countries of origin. Vig had previously published similar demographic models in the journal of a Danish right wing group.[23][24][25][26]

On 31 October 2013 he was convicted of scientific misconduct by the Danish Council for Scientific Misconduct after a 2-year investigation concerning his paper The decay of Western civilization: Double relaxed Darwinian selection[14] published in Personality and Individual Differences. They found him guilty on 2 charges, out of 6 in total of which the last was 'various other complaints'. The first was that he had published the paper without crediting Jørn Ebbe Vig as co-author, whose previously published texts were incorporated into the article without acknowledgement. The UVVU considered that Vig should have been credited, because of the substantial contribution, in terms of data, method and text. Nyborg stated that he had offered co-authorship to Vig, but that the offer was refused and Vig had requested not to be mentioned, making Nyborg choose to publish it himself. The second charge was that Nyborg had neglected to mention in the methodology section that he had converted a total fertility rate into a crude birth rate, a mistake which due to its consequences the UVVU considered to be equivalent to constructing data without acknowledging having done so, or substituting fictive data. When Nyborg learned that this was a problem, he sent an addendum to the journal, which is common practice when errors or omissions are found in published papers. However, the UVVU still considered it scientific misconduct, since they considered it an example of gross negligence.[15] In 2015 the journal published an editorial commenting on the paper and concluding that Nyborg did not commit fraud or plagiarism.[27]

Olympic Kayaking[edit]

Nyborg competed as a sprint canoer in the early 1960s. He won a bronze medal for Denmark in the K-1 4 × 500 m event at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.[28][29]


He is the editor of a 2003 festschrift, The Scientific Study of General Intelligence: Tribute to Arthur Jensen, published by Pergamon Press (ISBN 0080437931). In 2012 he was the editor of a special issue of Personality and Individual Differences dedicated to celebrating the 80th birthday of another controversial psychometrician, Northern Irish psychologist, Richard Lynn.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Af Kirstine Lefevre Sckerl, klsc@stiften.dk. "Helmuth Nyborg i modvind igen - Aarhus". Stiften.dk. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  2. ^ Rune Lykkeberg. "Den forkerte mand". information.dk. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  3. ^ a b Helmuth Nyborg (August 2005). "Sex-related differences in general intelligence g, brain size, and social status". Personality and Individual Differences 39 (3): 497–509. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2004.12.011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NyborgH2005SexRelated" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ Leder i Dagbladet Politiken: G for galskab
  5. ^ AF Kasper Iversen. "Danmarks Statistik: Anmeldt professor bruger manipulerede tal" (in Danish). Politiken.dk. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  6. ^ "Omstridt forsker anklages for snyd og vildledning" (in Danish). Politiken.dk. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  7. ^ "Helmuth Nyborg i ny uredelighed : FORSKERforum". Forskeren.dk. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  8. ^ Nyborg, H., & Jensen, A. R. (2000). Black–white differences on various psychometric tests: Spearman's hypothesis tested on American armed services veterans. Personality and Individual Differences, 28(3), 593-599.
  9. ^ Nyborg, H. (2012). The decay of Western civilization: Double relaxed Darwinian selection. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(2), 118-125.
  10. ^ Lynn, R., Harvey, J., & Nyborg, H. (2009). Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Intelligence, 37(1), 11-15.
  11. ^ Nyborg, H. (2009). The intelligence–religiosity nexus: A representative study of white adolescent Americans. Intelligence, 37(1), 81-93.
  12. ^ http://www.faklen.dk/faklen/01/race-l%E6re.php
  13. ^ http://politiken.dk/indland/article80536.ece
  14. ^ a b Nyborg, Helmuth (July 2012). "The decay of Western civilization: Double relaxed Darwinian Selection". Personality and Individual Differences 53 (2): 118–125. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.02.031. 
  15. ^ a b "Afgørelse fra Udvalget vedrørende videnskabelig uredelighed for kultur- og samfundsvidenskabelig forskning (UKSF)" (PDF). Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c "Cleverness Controversy". Science 314 (5804): 1365b. December 2006. doi:10.1126/science.314.5804.1365b. 
  17. ^ "090707-Final Settlement of Nyborg Case". Au.dk. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  18. ^ Anders Frølund, Rector’s decision regarding the Helmuth Nyborg case Public statement by the university, September 29, 2006
  19. ^ Disagreement regarding academic dishonesty, 2011.10.03, au.dk
  20. ^ "Hjem - Dansk Selskab for Fri Historisk Forskning". Holocaust.nu. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  21. ^ "Revolt against Civilization: A two day private seminar in Denmark, May 2011 - Dansk Selskab for Fri Historisk Forskning". Dansk Selskab for Fri Historisk Forskning. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  22. ^ Helmuth Nyborg: The Decay of Western Civilization: Double Relaxed Darwinian Selection
  23. ^ Information: Nyborgs konsulent er medstifter af Den Danske Forening (hentet 2013-07-25)
  24. ^ FORSKERforum: Helmuth Nyborg i ny uredelighed (hentet 2013-07-25)
  25. ^ [1] punkt 4, side 35
  26. ^ Politiken: Danmarks Statistik: Anmeldt professor bruger manipulerede tal
  27. ^ Vernon, Tony (2015). "Editor’s Note". Personality and Individual Differences 78: 100–101. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.01.024. ISSN 0191-8869. 
  28. ^ Nyborg, Helmuth (December 2009). "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Sports-reference.com profile". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  30. ^ Evolution of race and sex differences in intelligence and personality: Tribute to Richard Lynn at eighty. Personality and Individual Differences. Volume 53, Issue 2, July 2012. Helmuth Nyborg (ed.)