Nature, nurture or neither? The view from the genes

29 November 2010

This year’s Annual Science Lecture at the Natural History Museum will be presented by Professor Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London.

Modern advances in DNA technology have revolutionised our understanding of the structure of the human genome, with dramatic results. 

This has led to new methods of diagnosing and treating different cancers, as well as other important medical outcomes. 

But the scientists who study our genes are constantly reminded that this knowledge highlights the gap between our understanding of the DNA double helix and that of the human body.

Discoveries of new genes and how they influence our lives and behaviour, be it political leanings, intelligence or a love of gambling, dominate the media headlines and feed our hunger to know more about what is in our genes.

Find out from Professor Steve Jones how our lives and health can be divided into two segments: nature (our genes) and nurture (the environment), and the difficulties of separating the two. Professor Jones will explain how we often ask the wrong questions when we consider our genes and the environment.

Professor Jones says, ‘I will talk about our new insights into how genes may be directly and indirectly affected by the environment in which they are placed, and the way in which a simple and elegant science established by a monk studying peas is rapidly turning into pea soup.’

Please note, this event is now sold out.

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