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Women in Science

Molly holds a BS in Neuroscience from UCLA and a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge. Before she joined Oxford as a Lecturer, she worked at the University of Zurich and UCL, studying human decision-making, supported by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust.

Portrait of Molly Crockett


at the time of the interview - December 2014

Molly is an Associate Professor, a Lecturer and has her own Lab in the Department of Experimental Psychology. 

Extended biography

at the time of the interview - December 2014

Molly was inspired at school to study science. She had excellent teachers and supportive parents. She went to UCLA in the USA to study neuroscience and then obtained a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge, where she held a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She was delighted to publish the results of her work in Science and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

I can only speak for psychology and neuroscience but I do see the field moving in a more mathematical, quantitative direction. And in light of that I think we will really have to be vigilant about the influence of gender stereotypes because there is a pervasive stereotype that men are better than women at quantitative endeavours

Before she joined Oxford, Molly worked with economists and neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and University College London, studying human decision-making. This work was funded by a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Molly has now set up her own lab in Oxford, which studies the neural basis of altruism, morality and economic decision-making in healthy people and in psychiatric disorders. She also gives tutorials at Jesus College.

Molly spends a lot of time writing grant applications, which have not always been successful. She worries that people who are assessing these grants may assume that women are not as good as men at quantitative work such as computational modeling.

Molly believes that in order to be successful in science people must really care about the answers to the questions they are asking, and be prepared to work hard. She has written articles for several journals and newspapers and gave a TED talk in 2012. Ethnic background/nationality: White American.