Kat Arney

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Kat Arney
Katharine Luisa Arney

Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (PhD)
Known forScience blogging
Science podcasts
Scientific career
FieldsCancer research
ThesisEpigenetic modification in the mouse zygote and regulation of imprinted genes (2002)
Doctoral advisorAzim Surani[1]
Other academic advisorsAmanda Fisher[1]

Katharine Luisa Arney is a British science communicator, broadcaster, author,[2] and the founder and creative director of communications consultancy First Create the Media.[3] She was a regular co-host of The Naked Scientists, a BBC Radio programme and podcast, and also hosted the BBC Radio 5 Live Science Show[4] and the BBC Radio 4 series Did the Victorians Ruin the World[5] She has written numerous articles and columns for Science,[6] The Guardian,[7] New Scientist[8] the BBC and others.[9][10]


Arney was educated at the University of Cambridge where she was awarded a PhD in 2002 for research into epigenetic modification in the mouse zygote and regulation of imprinted genes.[11] Her PhD was supervised by Azim Surani[1][12] and included research on Insulin-like growth factor 2 and the H19 gene.[13] She went on to do postdoctoral research at Imperial College London working in the laboratory of Amanda Fisher.[1][14][15]


Arney is a strong advocate for involvement of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but "hates pink" - she considers attempts to make science look more "girlie" to be patronising and unnecessary.[16]

From 2004 to 2016 she was science communications manager for Cancer Research UK.[17] One notable success in this role was the "#NoMakeupSelfie" hashtag as it trended in August 2014; this was noted by CRUK's social media team who used a photograph of Arney – one of the charity's main media spokespeople – to publicise the SMS number for donations. After more than 5 million views, the hashtag raised in excess of £8 million for Cancer Research UK.[18]

Her first book, Herding Hemingway’s Cats, which was published in January 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing, covers the state of knowledge of the human genome, the advances made since the 1950s and what remains unknown. It also addresses misconceptions about epigenetics and non-DNA inheritance.[19][20]

In 2020 she published the book Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life's Oldest Betrayal.[21]

Her sister Helen Arney is a physicist and musician with whom she sometimes collaborates.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d Arney, Kat (2010). "Ada Lovelace day – Professor Amanda Fisher". katarney.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on 16 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Telling tales about science , Women in Science and Engineering Campaign.
  3. ^ "First Create the Media".
  4. ^ "interview with Kat Arney". CSICOP. 22 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Did the Victorians Ruin the World". BBC.
  6. ^ "Articles by Kat Arney at Science magazine". sciencemag.org. AAAS. 4 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Articles by Kat Arney at The Guardian". The Guardian. London.
  8. ^ Arney, Kat (2015). "Epigenetics". New Scientist. 228 (3051): 39. Bibcode:2015NewSc.228...39A. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(15)31765-6.
  9. ^ "Articles by Kat Arney at Cancer Research UK". cancerresearchuk.org.
  10. ^ "Kat Arney". Education in Chemistry. Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 23 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Arney, Katharine Luisa (2002). Epigenetic modification in the mouse zygote and regulation of imprinted genes (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 894595629.
  12. ^ K. L. Arney; S. Erhardt; R. A. Drewell; M. A. Surani (2001). "Epigenetic reprogramming of the genome—from the germ line to the embryo and back again". The International Journal of Developmental Biology. 45 (3): 533–540. PMID 11417896.
  13. ^ Arney, Katharine L (2003). "H19 and Igf2 – enhancing the confusion?". Trends in Genetics. 19 (1): 17–23. doi:10.1016/S0168-9525(02)00004-5. PMID 12493244.
  14. ^ Arney, Katharine L.; Fisher, Amanda G. (2004). "Epigenetic aspects of differentiation". Journal of Cell Science. 117 (19): 4355–4363. doi:10.1242/jcs.01390. PMID 15331660.
  15. ^ Kat Arney's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  16. ^ 'I hate pink. It is hugely patronising to think making things pink will get girls into science' Times Educational Supplement.
  17. ^ speaker profile, NCRI conference
  18. ^ The lessons that CRUK learned from nomakeupselfies, Third Sector.
  19. ^ Anon (2016). "Nonfiction Book Review: Herding Hemingway's Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work by Kat Arney". Publishers Weekly.
  20. ^ Herding Hemingway's Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work ISBN 978-1-4729-1004-2
  21. ^ Kat Arney (20 October 2020). Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life's Oldest Betrayal. BenBella Books, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-950665-51-8.
  22. ^ "Kat Arney | Author | Education in Chemistry".