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Robert Plomin

  • Author, Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are
  • 'A clear and engaging explanation of one of the hottest fields in science' —Steven Pinker
  • 'A hugely important book' —Matt Ridley, The Times


Prof. Plomin is one of the world's top behavioural geneticists who argues that we need a radical rethink about what makes us who we are. 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.

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 bestselling text book in this field.

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.

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.


Keywords: DNA, genetics, behavioral genetics, twins, neuroscience, personality, psychiatry, psychology, nature versus nurture

Book Robert Plomin