Prof Polly Arnold OBE is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the chemical sciences division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Polly's research focuses on exploratory synthetic chemistry. Such knowledge underpins the discovery of catalysts and our understanding of the behaviour of nuclear waste.

Polly Arnold advises government and industry and appears regularly on mainstream media to discuss the importance and benefits of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She was awarded the Rosalind Franklin Award in 2012 for her scientific achievements and her role promoting women in STEM. That same year, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2015, Polly was awarded a UK Research Council Suffrage Science award, and in 2017, the Lord Kelvin Prize, Scotland’s senior research prize in the physical sciences. 

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2017. 

In 2018, she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson award for her work on transuranic organometallic chemistry. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018 for substantial contributions to the improvement of natural knowledge. Polly has just been selected by the American Chemical Society as one of twelve LGBT in STEM trailblazers.