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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Blueprint, written and read by Robert Plomin. 

The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1 percent 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. 

©2018 Robert Plomin (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"A clear and engaging explanation of one of the hottest fields in science." (Steven Pinker)

What listeners say about Blueprint

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Very challenging (as a topic and a medium)

It's taken me three attempts to start and finish this audio book. Audio is a very challenging medium for this content, because of the large amount of numerical data that is being presented to support the arguments in the book. I'm highly numerate, statistically literate and have a pretty good working memory; but I have really struggled to follow some threads completely.

That said, it's a very compelling narrative and I shall be getting a paper copy; first time that's happened with an audio book.

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Must read for all educators

This book is fascinating and gives evidence to basic truths that every experienced educator knows. Well worth a read I only hope policy makers will finally take notice.

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LOVED IT

This is the kind of food for brain I love to get stuck into. Well written, well narrated and full of wonderful, accessible info on how we generally/intuitively get the nature/nurture thing wrong.
Thank you.

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Great book for those interested in genetics

author is a great reader of the book, at times quite mellow but the information is fascinating.

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Fascinating

The implications of the findings presented in this book changed my outlook on life, deeply thought provoking.

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It’s a scary fact

I really liked the book. I’ve read some similar studies about DNA from Paul Bloom too. They both point to same direction. But this book had all info in one place with good back up to prove the theories. I believe in science and what he says, and that makes this fact quite scary.

I really recommend this book, specially to those who wants to have kids at some point in their life. You may decide to not have kids or choose the father/mother very carefully after listening/reading this book!

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Naive and reductionist scientism

Got it by accident (instead of the book by Christakis), followed by more and more disappointment: starting with a sadly naive and reductionist understanding of genetics, forms a hypothesis that's little more than thinly veiled racism, carefully hidden behind the brand of scientism that's become quite popular recently.

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Very compelling - worryingly so!

I enjoyed this book immensely - it has opened my eyes far wider than I thought it could and far wider than I'd have liked. Important science that now needs backing with important policies.

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Heavy going for non-genetic psychologists

very interesting account of developments in genetic psychology but increasingly technical as it goes along. Not an easy read

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A must read for parents and educators

A fascinating part of the evolving story of our genome. Quite academic but the way it is read helped. Skates quite near some controversial material but addresses some if those issues. I think this will be a book I’ll read again within a year which is rare.

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  • Phil
  • 29-09-20

Challenging, elightening and a bit depressing

Bought after hearing Robert Plomin on Sam Harris' Waking Up podcast episode #211. Listened to on x1.6 speed.

It is difficult not to have mixed emotions about this book and how it impacts all aspects of your life, from your parents, to your upbringing to raising children.

If you are not already on the slippery slope of dispelling your long-held but mostly uninformed beliefs about how people behave, what drives them, and how they change over time, then it's would be easy to dismiss the book.

It's a huge challenge to what I believed you could change and influence in your life as a child growing up, compared to life now and experience as a middle-aged adult. Robert's explanations about behavioral genetics more closely matches the reality of my personal experience and grudging acceptance as an adult to explain things about myself and others around me.

If things like interests, intelligence, behaviors and personalities are more explained by nature and less explained by nurture then the magnitude of the problem becomes more clear if you seek change any of these things in yourself or those around you.

I think that some of the best advice in the book is to try to go with the grain of genetics rather than work against it. We still have a long way to go from a technological level to identify such grains however.

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  • Dr. Yonathan Mizrachi
  • 20-03-21

What an important book!! A must read!

Fascinating book. A must for any social scientist especially to psychologists and psychiatrists. Thanks for an eye opening book.

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  • Freja E.
  • 26-08-20

good book

Very interesting points, but a lot of repetitions. Not much new if you already heard the interview with Sam Harris

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  • Yogeshwar
  • 17-08-20

Very educational

Loved it! I learned so much from Just this one book! I definitely will have to listen to it multiple times to really appreciate the real essence of this book

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  • Matt
  • 15-06-20

Incredible insight

The insight that this book has given me in my parenthood is quite incredible.
The idea that my child is inheriting traits from my wife and I and that we have to take into account her genetic propensities in a higher degree than I expected fills me with hope and joy for her and finding out who she is during the course of her life.
The author taking such a complex subject and making it understandable for most anyone is very impressive.

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  • andrewpinney
  • 05-12-18

Book that changes your mind and the future

This book challenges commonly held beliefs , but in a delightfully robust way. Needs careful listening and warrants reflection and thought. Always a joy to hear the author read their own words.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-11-18

good summation on genetics in psychology

don't think the minor political parts were needed, but otherwise good. narration is clear, not annoyingly performed in any way and sped up works well.