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Showing posts from May, 2023

Placebo: how a sugar pill became a poison pill. Part 9 of a contintuing saga...

Read Part 8 . In 1921, amid the early tumult of prohibition, a remarkable study took shape in Palo Alto, California. Stanford psychologist Lewis Madison Terman—as serious-looking a man as one is apt to find, with hi s specs, upright bearing and unsmiling mien—would one day be remembered most ly for designing and publishing the final accepted version of the Stanford-Binet IQ test. In '21, however, Terman began work on another project that may have more lasting import for humankind, despite being known today to just a small circle of “longevity wonks.” Terman proposed to track th e lives of 1528 American children from that point on. His subjects, encountered in the course of his study of intelligence, were all 10 years old. Terman himself was 44; he would follow them and their families for the rest of his life, and he obtained from his younger associates a pledge to do the same after he was gone. The goal was to note what kind of longevity the 10-year-olds achieved, and try to deduc