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Nature or Nurture?

Cultural discussion programme. Mary-Ann Sieghart looks at studies of health, wellbeing and life chances with Helen Pearson, Oliver James, Marcus Munafo and Joseph Bullman.

On Start the Week Mary-Ann Sieghart asks why some people succeed while others fail. She talks to the journalist Helen Pearson about the Life Project, a study of the health, wellbeing and life chances of thousands of British children, started in 1946. The television producer Joseph Bullman also charts a series of families back to the Victorian times to look at social mobility through the generations. The psychologist Oliver James wades into the nature/ nurture debate by arguing that we are the result of our environment and upbringing, but the scientist Marcus Munafò says there is increasing evidence of genetic links to who we are and what we do.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Mon 29 Feb 2016 21:30

Oliver James

Oliver James is a psychologist and author.

Not in Your Genes: The real reasons children are like their parents is published by Vermilion.

Marcus Munafo

Marcus Munafò is Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol.

Helen Pearson

Helen Pearson is a science journalist and editor for the international science journal Nature.

The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives is published by Allen Lane.

Joseph Bullman

Joseph Bullman is a documentary maker.

The first episode of The Secret History of My Family is on Thursday 10 March at 8.00pm on BBC Two.


Role Contributor
Presenter Mary Ann Sieghart
Interviewed Guest Helen Pearson
Interviewed Guest Oliver James
Interviewed Guest Marcus Munafo
Interviewed Guest Joseph Bullman
Producer Katy Hickman