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What Mensa is, and Some History

Mensa is an international society for those who rejoice in the exercise of the mind. If you enjoy mental challenges and revel in the interplay of ideas, Mensa is an organization that can stretch your mind and expand your horizons. Mensa has one - and only one - qualification for membership: You must score at or above the 98th percentile on any of a number of standardized intelligence tests. The organization also supports education and research, through the Mensa Education and Research Foundation, and local group scholarships.

The officially stated purposes of Mensa are:
1) to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity; 2) to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence; 3) to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.

Why Should I Join Mensa?

Join for the Social Interaction
Mensa meetings are anything but dull! Local groups meet at least monthly...perhaps for dinner on a Friday night, a get-together featuring a speaker, or a lively, free-wheeling discussion. All with fellow members who share your intellectual interests. There's also a widely attended annual convention offering workshops, seminars, and parties. Plus many regional gatherings are held around the country each year offering social and intellectual excitement.

Join for Your Special Interests
Whatever your passion, there's almost certain to be a Special Interest Group (SIG) filled with other Mensans who share it! Mensa offers approximately 200 SIGs, in mind-boggling profusion from African Violets to zoology. Along the way you'll find microbiology, and systems analysis, but you'll also find Sherlock Holmes, chocolate and Star Trek. There's the expected: biochemistry, space science, economics -- and the unexpected: poker, roller skating, scuba diving, UFOs and witchcraft. There are SIGs for breadmaking, winemaking, cartooning, silversmithing, and clowning. Heraldry, semantics and Egyptology co-exist with beekeeping, motorcycling and tap dancing. Sports SIGs cover the classics (baseball, basketball, football) and the not-so-classic (skeetshooting, hangliding, skydiving). And any Mensan who can't find a SIG to join can easily start one.

Join for the Publications You Will Get
You'll receive our interesting and thought-provoking magazine, the Mensa Bulletin. It incorporates the "International Journal," and both publications contain views and information about Mensa, as well as contributions by Mensans on a wide variety of subjects. Also, you'll get lively local newsletters informing members of local activities and events, other items of interest and announcements of special interest.

What does "Mensa" mean?

The word "Mensa" means "table" in Latin. The name stands for a round-table society, where race, color, creed, national origin, age, politics, educational or social background are irrelevant.

Mensa takes no stand on politics, religion or social issues. Mensa encompasses members from many different countries and cultures and with many different points of view. For Mensa to espouse a particular point of view would go against its role as a forum for all points of view.

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