What I Do    What I Can’t Do    About My Books    My Media Work    Media Enquiries

My name is Kathleen Taylor, and I’m a freelance science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford. (For publications, try my SCOPUS ID, or my ORCID ID.)

What I Do

I trained as a neuroscientist after doing a first degree in philosophy and physiology, and then a doctorate, at the University of Oxford. For more details of my research, click here.

Now I write books about the best topic in the world — the science of human brains and behaviour. The science of people. What could be more fascinating?

To date I’ve published three books on brain research, Brainwashing (2004), Cruelty (2009) and The Brain Supremacy (2012), all with Oxford University Press. For more details, see the tabs.

My fourth book, The Fragile Brain, is about dementia. It’s currently in press, and due to be published later in 2016.

What I Can’t Do

I trained as a scientist, not a lawyer, government official, policy advisor or therapist. If you have a suspected case of brainwashing or cruelty, you need to talk to one of these people, not me. (For some useful contacts, try here.) My books Brainwashing and Cruelty are for people who want to know more about the science: how brainwashing and cruelty happen, what causes them, and what we can do to protect ourselves against them. The Brain Supremacy is more about how the science itself works — methods like fMRI, for instance — and how fast it’s advancing.

About My Books

My writing explores questions of interest to all of us:

● how are some people able to make others change their beliefs, sometimes very radically, and sometimes at great cost to themselves? (Brainwashing)

● how can apparently normal people become exceptionally cruel, even to the extent of torturing and murdering a lover, friend or child? (Cruelty)

● how will the new brain sciences change our world? (The Brain Supremacy)

● why do brains go wrong as we age, and how can we protect them? (The Fragile Brain)

Media Work

I have done a range of national and international media work. Much of this has been written, including blog posts, articles and features for newspapers and magazines including The Huffington Post Science, the Guardian (on brainwashing and terrorism, the death of Kim Jong-il, and the brain basis of morality), the Daily Mirror (on brainwashing), and the RSA Journal (on cruelty).

I have also done spoken and video interviews for TV, radio and online sources. These include international media from Ireland, Spain, Australia, Canada and the US. UK media include Channel 4 and BBC radio stations such as the World Service (The Forum), Radio 3 (Nightwaves) and Radio 4 (Start the Week, All in the Mind, The Today Programme).

In addition, I was interviewed for the first film in the Creating Freedom trilogy, which was nominated for Best Documentary at the Raindance Film Festival.

I have spoken about the books at science cafes, academic talks, and at science and literary festivals from Hay-on-Wye, Dartington and Lichfield to the Edinburgh and Cheltenham science festivals.

Media Enquiries

I regret that at present I’m unable to accept invitations to do interviews, give talks or attend conferences.


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