David Brooks offered some decent commentary on IQ in today's NY Times. The Brooks piece is interesting because it provides a context to the notion of IQ within the larger framework of a dynamic mind. IQ tests have an important place in the diagnostic armamentarium of clinical psychologists, but that place has little to do with the ideas most non-psychologists think about when they discuss IQ, the construct, and the instruments used to assess certain dimensions of intellectual functioning. Although Brooks doesn't address the diagnostic value of intellectual assessment, I appreciate a non-psychologist who can comment on IQ without the usual ham-handed ideological contaminations that so frequently mar discussion of the subject.
As a clinical psychologist I don't consider myself a specialist in intellectual assessment (perhaps by lay standards I am), but I studied test construction and measurements and completed at least a dozen graduate level assessment/testing courses and two years of clinical practica heavily weighted toward testing and assessment, including neuropsychological testing/assessment. I've also administered and interpreted a couple of hundred WAISs, WISCs and Stanford-Binets over the years as part of assessment batteries.
Doing this work well requires broad and intensive study and experience — not ideological fervor. Occassionally, psychologists will publicly comment on the naive, politcally-motivated discussions of IQ that often take place in the public sphere, but I've rarely, if ever, encountered a working clinical psychologist in the testing field who is preoccupied with the politics of IQ. Self-serving political simplicities dissolve when one's central commitment is to the constructive use of assessment instruments to generate and test hypotheses that contribute to a coherent, clinically useful picture of the individual patient's functioning.