Book Notes

Innate, by Kevin Mitchell

The question of Nature versus Nurture is at the center of a long-standing debate in biology about trade-offs between two competing factors that decide who we are as individuals: our environment (nurture) and our genetic make-up (nature). In Innate, Kevin Mitchell gives a readable yet detailed account of the relative contributions of genes, shared environment, and the confusingly named non-shared environment as the forces that shape each of us: in physique, personality, cognition, and so on.

Randomistas, by Andrew Leigh

“Evidence–based practice” has been a buzz word in education for some years now.1 However, understanding just what constitutes evidence, and what doesn’t, can be challenging. In Randomistas, Andrew Leigh digs in to one of the most important forms of evidence in the educational, social, and medical sciences, the “randomized controlled trial”. He spells out in plain language just what it is, and why it is considered the gold standard for evidence of what works in education and many other areas of research.