The emerging truth is far more interesting than a stale antithesis between heredity and environment. Nurture depends on genes, and genes need nurture. Genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain; through the pattern of their turning on and off they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues and even run memory. They are consequences as well as causes of the will.

Buy Nature via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human

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You can also buy it from my favourite bookshop Aldeburgh Bookshop

Book Reviews

This clever and ambitious book is full of novel insights and reflections.

James Le Fanu, Sunday Telegraph

Ridley belongs to the coterie that truly pushes science forward and brings it within the broader purlieus of “culture”. Nature via Nurture is another fine contribution to an already outstanding oeuvre.

Colin Tudge, Independent Magazine

An unrivalled view of cutting-edge research into the roots of human behaviour.

Clive Cookson, Financial Times

A balanced, entertaining gallop through the world of environmental influences and genetic impulses.

Robin McKie, Observer

Eminently readable.

Dylan Evans, Evening Standard

Profoundly intelligent and persuasive.

John Cornwell, Sunday Times

Nature via Nurture will not end the debates about human nature between those who look to biology and those who prefer the social sciences. In his plunge into the fray however, Matt Ridley offers and excellent view of the battlefield.

The Economist

Characteristically for a book by Ridley, there is much fascinating material here, lucidly and entertainingly presented! Elegantly written and highly instructive.

A C Grayling, Literary Review

Nature via Nurture sets the modern terms for an ancient debate, and at the same time delivers a superb tutorial on contemporary genetics; the feedback loop that embraces genes and environment is generally not well understood. And yet this plasticity, this elegant mutuality, seems crucial if our new understanding of human nature is to inform public policy. These times need a book like this.

Ian McEwan

Lucidly explains the most recent discoveries on what makes us what we are, and how we should think about these discoveries as we ponder who we want to be!A treat, written with insight, wisdom, and style.

Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate