New Books in Science

Interviews with Scientists about their New Books


episode 30: Robert Plomin, "Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are" (MIT Press, 2019)

Have you ever felt, “Oh my God, I’m turning into my mother (or father)!” ? Robert Plomin explains why that happens in Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are (MIT Press, 2019).

A century of genetic research shows that DNA differences inherited from our parents are the consistent lifelong sources of our psychological individuality―the blueprint that makes us who we are. Robert Plomin’s decades of work demonstrate that genetics explains more about the psychological differences among people than all other factors combined. Nature, not nurture, is what makes us who we are.

Plomin explores the implications of these findings, drawing some provocative conclusions―among them that parenting styles don't really affect children's outcomes once genetics is taken into account. This book offers readers a unique insider's view of the exciting synergies that came from combining genetics and psychology.

Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at or tweet @embracingwisdom.

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 2020-10-22  1h10m