From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hjernevask title card.jpg
Title card
Genre Documentary
Created by Harald Eia
Country of origin Norway
Original language(s) Norwegian
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 7
Running time 40 minutes
Original network NRK1
Original release March 1, 2010 (2010-03-01) – April 19, 2010 (2010-04-19)

Hjernevask (Brainwash) is a popular science documentary series that first aired on Norwegian television in 2010. The series, consisting of seven episodes, was created and presented by the comedian Harald Eia. Each episode featured Eia interviewing Norwegian social scientists about their theories of gender and social constructionism, and then confronting them with contrary data and testimony he had obtained from experts in other fields, such as biology and evolutionary psychology. Experts interviewed for the series included Simon Baron-Cohen, Steven Pinker, Simon LeVay, David Buss, Glenn Wilson, and Anne Campbell. The documentaries caused embarrassment for the Norwegian social scientists and generated much public debate in Norway. The entire series has since been released online.

Objectives and awards[edit]

Eia and co-producer Ole Martin Ihle have named Steven Pinker's book The Blank Slate as an inspiration for the documentary series.[1] The series was a huge success, and Eia was awarded the Fritt Ord Honorary Award for "having precipitated one of the most heated debates on research in recent times."[2] Shortly afterward, the Nordic Council of Ministers closed down the Nordic Gender Institute, though it was unclear whether the series had influenced their decision.[citation needed]


The producers have made the series available online.[3] Episodes linked here have English subtitles:

Title Participants Air Date[4]
1 1 The Gender Equality Paradox Anniken Huitfeldt, Jørgen Lorentzen, Cathrine Egeland, Camilla Schreiner, Simon Baron-Cohen, Richard Lippa, Anne Campbell, Trond Diseth March 1, 2010
Why do girls tend to go into empathizing professions and boys into systemizing professions? Why does the labor market become more gender segregated the more economic prosperity a country has?
2 2 The Parental Effect Gudmund Hernes, Willy Pedersen, Judith Rich Harris, Hans Olav Tungesvik, Robert Plomin March 8, 2010
How much influence do parents really have on their children? To what degree is intelligence inherited?
3 3 Gay/Straight Sturla Berg Johansen, Thomas Folkestad, Jørgen Lorentzen, Agnes Bolsø, Nils Axel Nissen, Gerulf Rieger, Ricard Lippa, Simon LeVay, Arve Sørum, Glenn Wilson March 15, 2010
To what extent is sexual preference innate? Are there differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals? Is homosexuality a result of a choice or is it innate?
4 4 Violence Hedda Giertsen, Richard Nisbett, Erling Sandmo, Ingvild Forbord, Marit Clementz, Steven Pinker, Ragnhild Bjørnebekk, Inger Lise Lien, David Buss March 22, 2010
Are people from some cultures more aggressive than others?
5 5 Sex Willy Pedersen, Jørgen Lorentzen, Leif Edward Kennair, Anne Campbell, Gro Isachsen, Martine Aurdal, Richard Lippa, David Buss April 5, 2010
Are there biological reasons men have a greater tendency than women to want sex without obligation?
6 6 Race Trond Thorbjørnsen, Knut Olav Åmås, Cathrine Sandnes, Gregory Cochran, Charles Murray, Richard Nisbett, Richard Lynn. April 12, 2010
Are there significant genetic differences between different peoples?
7 7 Nature or Nurture Jørgen Lorentzen, Knut Olav Åmås, Agnes Bolsø, Trond H. Diseth, Nils Axel Nissen, Martine Aurdal, Hedda Giertsen, Cathrine Egeland, Tom Colbjørnsen, Simon Baron-Cohen, Steven Pinker, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Philip Skau, Vigdis Bunkholdt, Simon LeVay. April 19, 2010
Is personality acquired or inherited?


  1. ^ "Vasker forskerhjerner". Universitas. 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Harald Eia, Dag Hessen and Bjørn Vassnes receive the Fritt Ord Foundation Tribute". The Fritt Ord Foundation. December 8, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Norwegian wood and the nature-nurture question". Mail archive. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  4. ^ "Hjernevask på nrk.no" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved April 6, 2010. 

External links[edit]