Mensa was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr Lance Ware, a scientist and lawyer. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims were, as they are today, to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions.
The society's official objectives are:
- to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members
- to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity
- to encourage research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence
The society welcomes people from every walk of life whose IQ is in the top two per cent of the population, with the objective of enjoying each other's company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities.
Mensa members come from all walks of life and almost every job and profession. Every age group is represented from pre-school children to members in their eighties, nineties and beyond!
What almost all Mensans have in common is the desire to make contact with other lively minds - in person, in print or online - and enjoy being both entertained and informed. The essence of Mensa membership is fun and stimulation for the individual. Mensa members read voraciously and enjoy the widest range of interests, leisure pursuits and hobbies. The atmosphere at all Mensa meetings is welcoming and convivial. Most Mensans are friendly and sensitive people who welcome the chance to make new friends and expand their horizons.
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