Skip to content
Fellows Directory

Polly Arnold

Professor Polly Arnold OBE FRS


Elected: 2018


Twitter @ProfArno


ORCID 0000-0001-6410-5838


Polly holds the Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. She obtained degrees from Oxford and Sussex and was a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at MIT before returning to the UK to a lectureship in 1999. Her research is focused on the design and synthesis of highly reactive f-block complexes that can activate inert small molecules such as carbon oxides, dinitrogen, and hydrocarbons, and that can provide fundamental information on structure and bonding at the bottom of the periodic table.

Polly is an active advocate for inclusion and diversity in STEM. Since her production of ‘A Chemical Imbalance’, supported by the Rosalind Franklin award from the Royal Society in 2012, she has given lectures around the world, advised the Government and industry, and appears regularly on TV, radio, and in print media, to discuss the importance and benefits of diversity in the STEM workforce She was awarded an OBE in 2017 for services to chemistry and women in STEM.

Professional positions

Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


f-block, homogeneous catalysis, Organometallic and coordination chemsitry, small molecule activation