I analyzed the racial background of the 20 U.S. physicists to win a Nobel prize in the 21st century, and found that 15% are East Asian, despite the fact that East Asians are only 3.62% of the U.S. population.  This undermines the claim that East Asians lack originality.

Jews did even better.  Despite being 2% of America, they are 30% of its 21st century Nobel physicists.

The remaining 55% of 21st century U.S. Nobel physicists are white.

It is interesting to ask what, if anything, this racial breakdown tells us about the IQs of Nobel physicists.  Although U.S. Jews have an average IQ of 110, if the correlation between IQ and race were perfect, Jews would average 130.  That’s expected because the correlation between IQ and race is 0.43, so 0.43 standardized regression slope means Jews are only about 43% as far above the U.S. mean of 96 as they would be if the correlation were 1.0.

Similarly, if the correlation between IQ and race were perfect, East Asian Americans would have an IQ of 115 instead of 104, and Whites would have an IQ of 106 instead of 100.

Since East Asians, Jews and whites are 15%, 30% and 55% of Nobel physicists respectively, if IQ and race were perfectly correlated, the average Nobel physicist would have an IQ of:

0.15(115) + 0.3(130) + 0.55(106) = 115

An IQ of 115 is 19 points above the U.S. mean of 96.  Of course race and IQ are not correlated perfectly. As mentioned above race correlates 0.43 with IQ and probably 0.48 with g (the general factor of intelligence).

So people selected based on g (among other traits) will regress to the U.S. mean on “race IQ” via the 0.48 regression slope.  So if they are 19 points above the U.S. mean on “race IQ”, they would be 19/0.48 = 40 IQ points above the U.S. mean on g.

But since IQ tests only correlate 0.9 with g, they’re likely 0.9(40) = 36 points above the U.S. mean of 96 on IQ, which means the average Nobel physicist should have an IQ of 132.

I’m not saying that is the IQ of Nobel physicists, I’m just saying it’s what we should expect based on the fact that they are 30% Jewish, 15% East Asian and 55% White.  But it’s likely an underestimate because the average IQ of physics PhDs has got to be close to 130.  For the top physicists in America to score no higher would imply zero correlation between IQ and job performance among physicists, which sounds impossible.

Also, we know from the Roe study that physicists and other elite scientists averaged IQ above 155, though that was in the 1950s when academia was more meritocratic.  Still, it’s doubtful their IQ could have dropped that much in the last half century.

I suspect that my race analysis might have underestimated Nobel physicist IQ because although both Jews and East Asians are dramatically overrepresented, they could have been even more so because:

1) although Jews have high overall IQs, they are more verbally oriented, so their overrepresentation is much more extreme in business and especially media than it is in science, so physicists don’t have as many Jews as occupations that actually shape the culture.

2) East Asians would be even more overrepresented but their extreme mental stability and cautious temperament limits creativity, and Ivy League discrimination against East Asians limits how many can dominate in academic fields.