neuroscience | December 08, 2010

Steven Pinker Has His Genome Sequenced, Writes One of 2010's Best Essays

Would you bare your soul for science? Steven Pinker did. Literally. As part of a wide-ranging story on consumer genetics that he wrote for The New York Times Magazine, Pinker allowed his genome to be sequenced — with the results later posted on the Internet! A Harvard psychologist and Lavin keynote speaker, Pinker says we’ll soon be able to “identify the actual genes that incline a person to being nasty or nice, an egghead or a doer, a sad sack or a blithe spirit.” Which will be amazing. Unless it’s not.

You can read Pinker’s story, called “My Genome, My Self,” in The Best American Essays 2010, guest edited by Christopher Hitchens. If you don’t feel like heading over to Amazon or your local book store — or, if like an apparently growing number of people, you simply prefer reading off of a screen — you can just read the essay here.

UPDATE: Pinker’s essay is also in The Best American Science Writing 2010. Go, Steven!