Gabrielle Hecht is Professor of History at the University of Michigan, where she also directs the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. She recently served as associate director of the University of Michigan’s African Studies Center, and remains an active participant in the ASC’s joint project with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (South Africa) on Joining Theory and Empiricism in the remaking of the African Humanities.
Hecht has written two award-winning books about nuclear things. Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade (MIT Press and Wits University Press, 2012) offers new perspectives on the global nuclear order. The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity (MIT Press, 1998 & 2009) explores how the French embedded nuclear policy in reactor technology. Hecht serves on the scientific advisory board for the Andra, France’s national radioactive waste management agency. She is also an advisor for AGORAS, an interdisciplinary collaboration between academic and industry researchers to improve safety governance in French nuclear installations. She recently advised the US Senate Committee on Investigations on the history of the uranium market for its report on Wall Street Bank Involvement with Physical Commodities.
More broadly, Hecht’s scholarship addresses themes such as technopolitics, occupational and environmental health, labor, ontological politics, and nationalism, colonialism, and post-coloniality. She is currently beginning a book on technology and power in Africa, as well as a series of essays on radioactive and other forms of waste, tentatively titled Toxic Tales from the African Anthropocene.
Gabrielle Hecht holds a PhD in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1992), and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from MIT (1986). Before arriving at UM in 1999, Hecht taught at Stanford University. She’s been a visiting scholar in universities in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden. Hecht’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the South African and Dutch national research foundations, among others.
For details, see this reasonably recent CV.