Robert Plomin: Blueprint – How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

Part of the Literature Festival Running from
Last event: Sunday 18 November 2018 at 2.30pm
  • £12.50

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A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint will revolutionise how we think about how we parent, the choices we make, and who we are.

Have you ever wondered why you’re good at some things and not others? What made you an introvert or an extrovert? Why you’re so like – or unlike – your siblings? How your parents shaped you, and how you might shape your children? What if there was a device that could predict these things from birth, that could tell you if you were going to get depression or schizophrenia, or how well you would do at school? There is. It is your DNA.

The ability to use our DNA to understand who we are and who we’ll become has emerged only recently, and psychologist Robert Plomin has been at the forefront of this genetic revolution. In Blueprint, he draws on 40 years of research to show 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.

While gene testing kits are now available in the home and soon in school and the workplace, it is time to launch a broader public conversation about the applications and implications of the DNA revolution, because it will affect us all. Genetics is too important to leave to geneticists alone.


‘A clear and engaging explanation of one of the hottest fields in science’ Steven Pinker

‘…beautifully written and very challenging, but it is a challenge that we all need to reflect on’ Sir Richard Layard

‘…argues passionately that, if we want to build a fair society, we must plan accordingly’ Nicholas Humphrey

‘An important work’ Simon Baron-Cohen


Approx 60 mins

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