Gabrielle Hecht is Frank Stanton Foundation Professor of Nuclear Security at Stanford University, where she is affiliated with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Department of History. She is also Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute. Before returning to Stanford in 2017, Hecht taught at the University of Michigan for 18 years, where she served as Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, associate director of the University of Michigan’s African Studies Center, and in other posts. She remains an active participant in UM’s collaborative 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 (2012) offers new perspectives on the global nuclear order. An abridged version appeared in French as Uranium Africain, une histoire globale (Le Seuil 2016). Hecht’s first book, The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity (1998 & 2009, French editions 2004 & 2014), explores how the French embedded nuclear policy in reactor technology. 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. One of her essays on the African Anthropocene recently appeared in Aeon.
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). 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. She serves on several advisory boards, including for the Andra, France’s national radioactive waste management agency.