This week’s guest is Dr Hannah Critchlow, cellular and molecular neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge. Hannah has recently released her new book the ‘science of fate’, exploring whether our genetic code determines our path or instead whether our genetic code acts as a start point from which we get to choose who we become.

I grabbed 15 mins with Hannah between sessions at the Cheltenham Science Festival and we had interesting conversation that covered a lot, explored some interesting concepts, but in many ways hinted to a pivotal moment in time where the study of genetics is at a delicate cross-roads about how our new found understanding of the area is applied for the future of the human race.

Show notes
04:35 The concept of free will and what neuroscience tells us about how we’re formed
05:30 New understanding of neuroscience and genetics asking us fundamental questions about who we are
08:30 Neuroscience of resilience and the role of BDNF – Brain derived neurotrophic factor – helping nerve cells to flourish
10:00 Characteristics are multi-factorial in nature yet many companies are now offering genetic screening
11:20 Connection to gene doping in sport and the latest on managing the dial of gene expression
13:00 The link to epigenetics and transfer of characteristics based on a stressor – a gap in our understanding!
14:25 Neuroscience of well-being, what can be done? Exercise, foods, life long education, social connection
16:05 What can we do to ensure we flourish? Expression and acts of compassion, practicing gratitude – develops a feeling of moral awe and have a profound effect on the mind and body!

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Dr Steve Ingham is one of the UK’s leading figures in sport and one of the world’s leading performance scientists. He is steeped in high performance and has been integral to the development of Britain into an Olympic superpower. He has provided support to over 1000 athletes, of which over 200 have achieved World or Olympic medal success, including some of the world’s greatest athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Steve has coached Kelly Sotherton's running for heptathlon and to 4x400m Olympic medal winning success. Steve has worked at the English Sports Council British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport, where Steve was the Director of Science and Technical Development, leading a team of 200 scientists in support of Team GB and Paralympics GB. Ingham holds a BSc, PhD and is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Steve is author of the best selling ‘How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete’, discussing and inspiring the importance of learning and adapting to reach our maximum potential. Steve established Supporting Champions with the ambition of helping ambitious people to find a better way of creating high-performance. Steve hosts the Supporting Champions Podcast on sharing his pursuit of understanding and exploration in performance.

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