Breakfast

Tuesday 5 March 2019

7:45am

How DNA makes us who we are

Behavioural geneticist, Robert Plomin

DNA is more important than any other factor in shaping who we are: it influences everything from whether we are extroverted or introverted, whether we have mental illness or are a morning person, and how well we do at school. What’s more, the influence of DNA becomes stronger as we get older.

Robert Plomin’s research shows just how far we are all shaped by our genes from birth, and how they, in turn, influence the environments in which we live and the life experiences we are likely to have. It turns out even nurture is actually nature: we seek out environments and are parented in ways that fit our genetic pre-disposition.

Robert Plomin

Robert is a psychologist and one of the founders of the field of Behavioural Genetics.

Working at King’s College, London, he has published more than 800 papers in scientific journals and is the author of the bestselling textbook in the field.

He was the youngest president of the International Behaviour Genetics Association, and has been given lifetime achievement awards from that association as well as the American Psychological Association and the Society for Research in Child Development, among others.

John Clark Photography

Robert's new book, 'Blueprint' is "a clear and engaging explanation of one of the hottest fields in science."

Steven Pinker