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20/12/2012

Why IQ tests don't test intelligence, how a broken boiler control is hampering the search for life in Antarctica, and why that frozen continent is a good model for life on Mars.

This week Quentin Cooper looks at new research into the usefulness of I Q tests. The hundred year old measure of intelligence has often been derided for being culturally biased, sexist and unfairly divisive. Now the largest ever study of IQ tests examines asks what such tests really measure and how far they can provide a useful way to compare the abilities of different people.

We also look to Antarctica, a project to drill through the frozen surface of Lake Ellsworth has been suspended due to problems with a hot water powered drill. Scientists hope to resume drilling by Christmas day and obtain samples for their search for life forms that may have existed for millennia below the lakes frozen surface.

We talk to Alexander Kumar a doctor who has spent the past 9 months living in Antarctica as part of an European Space Agency project to look at the physiological and psychological impact of extreme cold and isolation - which ESA hopes will help inform future long distance space missions to other planets.

And we hear from children's presenters Dick and Dom about their new science series 'How Dangerous' which is being broadcast on 4 Extra starting on Christmas Eve.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Christmas Eve 2012 21:00

Lake Ellsworth Drilling Project 1

Lake Ellsworth Drilling Project 1
Martin Siegert during update discussions. Image credit: www.ellsworthlive.org.uk

Lake Ellsworth Drilling Project 2

Lake Ellsworth Drilling Project 2
Deploying the drill down the borehole. Image credit: www.ellsworthlive.org.uk

Lake Ellsworth Drilling Project 3

Lake Ellsworth Drilling Project 3
The hose moves steadily downwards. Image credit: www.ellsworthlive.org.uk

Does Alexander Kumar get a hole in one?

Does Alexander Kumar get a hole in one?
At the Concordia Research Station, the Antarctic.  Photograph credit:  Alexander Kumar.

Alexander Kumar with Union flag.

Alexander Kumar with Union flag.
Pictured at at Concordia Research Station, in the Antarctic.  Photograph credit:  Alexander Kumar.

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