When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.

David Epstein is an investigative reporter at ProPublica and the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. He used to be a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He specializes in science issues in sports and investigative reporting. Epstein is a graduate of Columbia University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and astronomy (2002) and master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism. His lecture is calm and orderly, completely under control and learned by heart. What you see is an expert who knows how to bring his insight accessible in 15 minutes.