IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


How DNA makes us who we are

16 October 2019, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

strand of DNA

What made you the way you are? What formed your personality, your mental health and your cognitive abilities? In this Quantitative Social Science seminar, Professor Robert Plomin (King's College London) explains the critical role of DNA.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Aase Villadsen


Room LG04
26 Bedford Way

For the last 45 years, Professor Plomin has been investigating the genetic and environmental influences that make us different: our nature and nurture. He concludes that inherited DNA differences are the major systematic force, the blueprint, that makes us who we are as individuals.

Our experiences also matter - family, school and friends - but these experiences don’t fundamentally change who we are. Professor Plomin argues that we would essentially be the same person if we were cloned and our clone grew up in a different family, went to a different school and led a different life.

He says these findings, coupled with our ability to read our DNA blueprint, will transform science, society and how we understand ourselves.


About the Speaker

Professor Robert Plomin

Professor of Behavioural Genetics at Kings College London

Professor Plomin is one of the world's top behavioural geneticists who offers a unique, insider's view of the exciting synergies that came from combining genetics and psychology. His talk is based on his latest book, Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are (Allen Lane / Penguin Books, October 2018).