Polly Morland grew up in Glasgow. At seventeen, she went to Oxford University to read English, where she won a Hodgson Scholarship. She went on to work in television for fifteen years, producing and directing documentaries for the BBC, Channel Four and the Discovery Channel, winning a Broadcast award and a Vega Science Trust award. Subjects she tackled on film include: war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, the economics of organised crime, political terrorism in Europe and Latin America, the science of cryptography, the love life of the first Duke of Wellington and a controversial history of the Bible.

Polly left the BBC in 2009 to write her first widely-acclaimed book, The Society of Timid Souls: or How to be Brave, supported by a Royal Society of Literature / Jerwood Award. The book was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and was a Sunday Times Book of the Year in 2013, in the category of ‘most thought-provoking works’. Her second book, Risk Wise – Nine Everyday Adventures included a conclusion by Alain de Botton and was written in conjunction with The School of Life, of which Polly was a faculty member. Metamorphosis – How and Why We Change is her third book.

Polly is an occasional contributor to The Guardian. She also speaks about the ideas and the people in her work at book events, public, academic and corporate institutions.

Polly Morland and vulcanologist Giuseppe Mastrolorenzo

Interviewing vulcanologist, Giuseppe Mastrolorenzo, inside the crater of Vesuvius. Photo by: Richard Baker