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Publication of Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, written by TEDS Director, Professor Robert Plomin, has been published by Allen Lane/Penguin. The book draws upon TEDS research and offers exciting insight into genetics and the DNA revolution.

The publisher’s description of Blueprint states:

“One of the world's top behavioural geneticists argues that we need a radical rethink about what makes us who we are

“The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person - all of these aspects of our personality are profoundly shaped by our inherited DNA differences.

“In Blueprint, Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics, draws on a lifetime's worth of research to make the case that DNA is the most important factor shaping who we are. Our families, schools and the environment around us are important, but they are not as influential as our genes. This is why, he argues, teachers and parents should accept children for who they are, rather than trying to mould them in certain directions. Even the environments we choose and the signal events that impact our lives, from divorce to addiction, are influenced by our genetic predispositions. Now, thanks to the DNA revolution, it is becoming possible to predict who we will become, at birth, from our DNA alone. As Plomin shows us, these developments have sweeping implications for how we think about parenting, education, and social mobility.

"A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults.”

Blueprint has already received a high level of interest, with reviews published in several national UK publications such as the The Daily Mail, The Times, The Guardian, and The Standard. Professor Plomin was also invited to write a guest article, around the book’s release, on Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/blueprint/201809/parents-matter-they-don-t-make-difference. He is soon to appear on BBC’s Start The Week, to discuss the research which led him to the conclusions he draws in Blueprint.

The release of Blueprint and the attention it has already attracted makes now an exciting time for the TEDS team. We are eagerly observing the release of this publication, made possible by the culmination of years of TEDS research.

As always, thank you to our TEDS family for making this research possible.