Not too long ago, David Linden found himself on OkCupid, one of the world’s great catalogs of human idiosyncrasy. Fortunately for his lonely heart, he found his soulmate. But, being a scientist, he couldn’t help but ask what made the whole thing work? In this talk, moderated by Dr. Sean Guillory, Dr. Linden offers answers from his book “Unique,” where he reveals the origins and importance of human individuality. From the womb in which we developed to the food we just ate, Linden explores the myriad of factors that make each of us unlike any other. At the heart of human individuality are our genes, but these are not genes that preordain our destiny. Rather, they are flexible ones, easily manipulated by the intrinsic randomness of human development and our experience in the world. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Linden reveals why human individuality and the things that set us apart are in fact essential to our ability to live together.

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