The Mensa Foundation anounced that Ashley Merryman and Po Bronson have been honored with the 2009 Mensa Press Award, a national award presented to those who show excellence in writing about intelligence and human giftedness for a lay audience. Merryman and Bronson won the award for their article "How Not to Talk to Your Kids," published in New York Magazine. Mensa Foundation Vice President Phyllis Miller presented the pair with the $1,000 award at the New York City Barnes & Noble store in Union Square, where they were launching their new book, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.
“To receive any award from Mensa would be an honor. The fact that it comes for an article about the effects of hearing people tell you, ‘Honey, you're a genius!’ means so much more,” said Merryman. “The fact that the Foundation feels our reporting offers a meaningful insight into the benefits — and costs —of a label like ‘genius’ is very humbling and extremely gratifying.”
"Intelligence is something that is at once treasured, envied, dismissed as trivial, taken for granted and hotly debated,” said Bronson. “We are extremely grateful that the Mensa Foundation thinks that we have made a meaningful contribution to understanding what true brilliance really is."
Together, Bronson and Merryman have written for Time, New York Magazine, and The Guardian (U.K.). This fall, they will begin writing a NurtureShock blog for Newsweek. Bronson lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children. Merryman lives in Los Angeles, where she runs a church-based tutoring program for inner-city children.