Historian and writer, Alison Bashford is Laureate Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is currently Director of the New Earth Histories Research Program and from 2021 directs the Laureate Centre for History & Population. Previously she was Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge. She is Fellow of the British Academy, the Australian Academy of Humanities and is Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. In 2020 she was awarded the Royal Society (NSW) History and Philosophy of Science Medal for transformative historical studies of the biomedical and environmental sciences. In 2021 she was awarded the Dan David Prize for her longstanding scholarship in the history of medicine.
Alison Bashford’s historical research connects the history of science, global history, and environmental history into new assessments of the modern world, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Her books and articles offer large-scale and integrated analyses of how the twenty-first-century world came to be. She is well known for her work on population debates in the past, on eugenics, and on infectious disease control and quarantine. More recently she has researched global histories of geosciences.
Bashford is currently finalising a book on the Huxley dynasty. An Intimate History of Evolution (Penguin Random House, UK) is based on the Wiles Lectures, which she delivered at the Queen’s University Belfast in 2018.