Speaker: Dr. Robert Plomin
Title of talk: Beyond Nature vs. Nurture: The Implications of Behavioral Genetics Research for Education
When: Thursday, February 16, noon-1
Where: Dean’s Boardroom, Education 4108
Robert Plomin is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. After receiving a PhD in behavioural genetics from the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin Dr. Plomin held professorships at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Pennsylvania State University. In 1994, he came to the Institute of Psychiatry as MRC Research Professor to establish with Professor Michael Rutter the SGDP Centre. The theme of the Centre and of his research is bringing together genetic and environmental research strategies to study behavioural development. In 1994, Dr. Plomin launched the Twins Early Development Study of all twins born in England and Wales in 1994-96, began a study of all twins born in England during 1994-96, which focuses on developmental problems in cognition and behaviour.
During the past decade his research has increasingly turned towards harnessing the power of molecular genetics, especially genome-wide association strategies, to identify genes for psychological traits in order to help understand the developmental interplay between genes and environment. He is an international leader in behavioural genetics and was the youngest President of the Behavior Genetics Association. His awards include: Fellow, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001); Fellow, The Academy of Medical Sciences (2002); Fellow, American Academy of Political and Social Science (2005); Fellow, British Academy (2005); and lifetime research achievement awards from the Behavior Genetics Association (2002), the Society for Research in Child Development (2005), and the American Psychological Society (2005). Dr. Plomin has published more than 500 papers and is senior author of the major textbook in the field (Behavioral Genetics) as well as author of a dozen other books including Genetics and Experience: The Interplay Between Nature and Nurture.