Who am I? – What makes me, me? (2018)

Alice Roberts and Aoife McLysaght

Alice Roberts and Aoife McLysaght explore what makes humans human and what makes every person an individual.

Watch time: 56:55

Lecture 3 – What makes me, me?

In lecture three of the 2018 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Alice Roberts and Aoife McLysaght explore how the interplay between genetic variation and the environment makes us all different – even identical twins. They interrogate emerging genetic technologies – from fixing gene errors to personalised medicine – and ask how far we should go with genetic testing.


You share 99.4% of your genes with your neighbour, 98.7% with a chimp, and even 44% with a fruit fly – yet you are also entirely unique – there is nobody else quite like you. In this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Alice Roberts and genetics expert Aoife McLysaght, take us on a journey to answer this most fundamental question: who am I?

Humans tend to view ourselves as separate from the natural world, a special creation even, but we’re far more closely related to the rest of the animal kingdom than you might imagine.

From how our limbs evolved from fins, to the colour of our eyes, Alice and Aoife investigate our fascinating evolutionary story to reveal how we became who we are today.

This is the story of us – our past and our future – in all its deep-rooted, diverse, and surprising glory.

2018 CHRISTMAS LECTURES supporters