In January, I was interested to read an article on the BBC News website about whether geniuses are born not made. Essentially the article is a promotional piece for a new book called The Genius in all of us by David Shenk. I found that interesting in itself since I thought the BBC is not usually one for advertising but perhaps I’m being naive.
Anyway, the basic gist of the article and of Shenk’s book seems to be that the genes we are born with are not ‘robot actors’ always doing the same thing in exactly the same way, but rather that heredity, our genes, and who they make us to be interact with their surroundings. There is a far more interesting and developmental process in play.
“They now know that genes interact with their surroundings, getting turned on and off all the time. In effect, the same genes have different effects depending on who they are talking to” (quote from the BBC article).