Epigenetics – one of the mechanisms by which cells control expression of genes – has long been known to be heritable across cell divisions. This is how each of the tissues in our body maintains its cellular identity, for example as a liver cell or a neuron in the brain. When epigenetic control goes wrong, it can often lead to cancer. It has been thought for decades that all epigenetic marks must be cleared between generations, in order for the new developing organism to start with a clean slate. However, it has recently become clear that in some circumstances, epigenetic marks can be passed between generations and influence offspring, grandchildren and beyond. Provocatively, this idea suggests that in some ways Lamarck may have been right, with his theory of inheritance of acquired traits. In this talk Dr Ashe will discuss the science of epigenetics and share some of her own research into this fascinating field.