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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Jan/Feb 2019 > Angela Saini Fight the DNA determinists

Angela Saini Fight the DNA determinists

NEW THINKING FOR 2019

One idea to have pushed its way back on to the scientific agenda is genetic determinism, the belief that genes determine the greater portion of human behaviour—that what we are and all we can achieve is encoded like a blueprint in our DNA. In psychologist Robert Plomin’s recent book Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, for example, it is possible to see a version of this “hereditarianism,” albeit it in a more caveated and less crude form than is traditional. It is a dangerous strain of thought.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s January/February double issue: A host of writers and personalities explain what they think will be the most important thing we need to learn in the new year. From Justin Welby arguing for new emphasis on learning to forgive and Lord Neuberger on the importance of a free judiciary to Hannah Fry on AI and Cathy Newman on what happens next for #MeToo—Prospect has it all. Elsewhere in the issue: Fintan O’Toole looks at Brexit from an Irish perspective, Wendell Steavenson dishes the dirt on what really happens to the waste you want to recycle, Frank Close questions why—half a century after our last visit—we’ve not been back to the Moon. Also, Michael Blastland argues that we’re ignoring the upsides of having an alcoholic drink and Clive James explores the life of Philip Larkin.