Following a degree in molecular biology, Alison studied at the University of Manchester for an MSc and PhD in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, with a dissertation on the history of biology in the UK in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her post-doctoral career was spent at the universities of Liverpool and Nottingham, where between 2002 and 2009 she worked on the history of stem cell biology and the use of stem cells in contemporary medicine, topics on which she has published widely. Whilst in Nottingham, and later in Sheffield, Alison taught a range of history of science and science studies courses.
Since 2012, she has been researching the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Pugwash) and its transnational role in Cold War nuclear politics since 1957. This arose from her long-standing interest in the biological dangers and medical uses of ionizing radiation: her study of the controversy surrounding radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s led to her work on Pugwash in the UK, especially its leading figure, Sir Joseph Rotblat. At the MPIWG, Alison has co-edited a book on the history of Pugwash with Professor Carola Sachse, was published in the Brill series History of Modern Science in 2019. Alison’s ongoing work on the Pugwash organization currently includes a research article analyzing its position within current debates about “Science Diplomacy.” She is also a member of the organizing team for the new MPIWG seminar series: Science, Technology and Diplomacy during the Cold War and Beyond: Frameworks, Perspectives, Challenges.
Sachse, C., & Kraft, A. (Eds.). (2019). Science, (anti-)communism and diplomacy: the Pugwash conferences on science and world affairs in the early Cold War. Leiden: Brill. doi:10.1163/9789004340176.Read More
Kraft, A. (2019). Confronting the German problem: Pugwash in West and East Germany, 1957–1964. In C. Sachse, & A. Kraft (Eds.), Science, (anti-)communism and diplomacy: the Pugwash conferences on science and world affairs in the early Cold War …Read More
Kraft, A., & Sachse, C. (2019). The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs: Vision, Rhetoric, Realities. In C. Sachse, & A. Kraft (Eds.), Science, (anti-)communism and diplomacy: the Pugwash conferences on science and world affairs…Read More
Kraft, A. (2018). Dissenting scientists in early Cold War Britain: the 'fallout' controversy and the origins of Pugwash, 1954-1957. Journal of Cold War Studies, 20(1), 58-100. doi:10.1162/jcws_a_00801.Read More
Cold War Seminar Series
Margaret Thatcher, the Cold War, and International Science in the 1980sMORE
Cold War Seminar Series
Changing Channel: What is Science Diplomacy and How Could It Help Us to Better Understand Cold War Science?MORE
Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities
Undergraduate modules. University of Sheffield, UK
Claiming Authority Producing Standards: The IAEA and radiation protection. Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna
Berlin-Brandenburg Colloquium in Environmental History. Humboldt University, Berlin
Berlin Kolleg Kalter Krieg
Ringvorlesung: Vertrauen als Ressource internationaler Politik, Berlin Kolleg Kalter Krieg, Humboldt University, Berlin