My book-in-progress, The Orchid and the Dandelion, explores ideas of how genes and experience shape us, and we them. The main idea explored is known as the orchid-dandelion hypothesis, or just plain orchid hypothesis. It offers that some of the genes and traits generating our greatest maladies and misdeeds — depression, anxiety, hyper-aggression, a failure to focus — also underlie many of our greatest satisfactions and success.
I’ve explored the heart of this idea most thoroughly in “Orchid Children,” for The Atlantic. Also relevant are “The Social Life of Genes,” in Pacific Standard and “Beautiful Brains,” a National Geographic feature about adolescence. You can also find related writing about genetics under my genetics tag.