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Dr. Robert Plomin

speaker location icon London, U.K.

Professor in Behavioural Genetics​ at KCL

Recipient of the 2020 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology

Author of the Best Selling 'Blueprint - How DNA Makes Us Who We Are'

Prof. Plomin is a world-leading behavioural geneticist and author of the book, Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. He is MRC Research Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. His research focuses on learning abilities and disabilities using quantitative and molecular genetic techniques. He directs one of the world’s premier twin studies, the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), which has followed over 10,000 twin pairs since birth in 1994-1996 to the present day.

He has published more than 800 papers and is the author or co-author of several books including Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are (2018), G is for Genes: The Impact of Genetics on Education and Achievement (2013) and Behavioral Genetics (2017 -7th edition),  the best-selling textbook in this field. Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are is a game-changing book by a leader in the field. It shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults. Blueprint has received commendable media attention, featured in publications and podcasts such as The Guardian, The Psychology Podcast, The Daily Mail and BBC Radio 4.

 Prof. Plomin believes that inherited DNA differences are the major systematic force that makes us who we are as individuals – our cognitive abilities and disabilities our mental health and illness, and our personality. The environment is important, but it works completely differently from the way we thought it worked. In his work, he illustrates what DNA does, offering us a unique insider’s view of the exciting synergies that came from combining genetics and psychology.

The DNA revolution has made it possible to use DNA to predict our psychological problems and promise from birth. These advances in genetic research, Professor Plomin believes, call for a radical rethink about what makes us who we are, with sweeping – and no doubt controversial – implications for the way we think about parenting, education and the events that shape our lives.

He has received numerous awards for his research. He is a fellow of The Association of Psychological Science , The American Academy of Arts and Sciences , The Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy. Dr. Plomin has also been featured in the TIMES’ 2019 list of 25 Top Thinkers.

Some of the Topics and Themes he addresses include;

-The implications of the DNA revolution

-The DNA revolution: predicting adult outcomes from birth

-The implications of the DNA revolution for education: We can now predict children’s school

  performance from DNA better than from parents’ income.

-Genetics is the major systematic source making us who we are as individuals;    

  environmental effects are largely random: you would be much the same person if you had

  been adopted at birth

-The nature of nurture: how DNA affects our experiences

-Genetics and personality

-Genetics and cognitive abilities and disabilities

-The future of the DNA revolution: universal DNA sequencing

Dr. Plomin’s talk on How DNA Makes Us Who We Are | RSA | 2019

How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

Does the blueprint for our individuality lie in the 1% of DNA that differentiates us all?Behavioural geneticist Robert Plomin argues that the DNA revolution has profound implications for parenting and education.Join us at 1pm to find out more.#RSAgenetics

Posted by RSA Events on Thursday, 5 December 2019


Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

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