Alison Bashford

Professor Alison Bashford

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2010
  • Section(s): History


Historian and writer, Alison Bashford is the Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. Her books bring together the history of science, global history, and environmental history into new assessments of the modern world, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Born in Sydney in 1963, Alison Bashford was educated at the University of Sydney, where she was awarded the University Medal in 1990. For nearly twenty years she taught and researched from her Sydney base, taking regular visiting fellowships in the United Kingdom. In 2009 she was the Whitlam and Fraser Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University. In 2011 she was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. In 2013 Alison Bashford joined the University of Cambridge as Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, succeeding Professor Sir Christopher Bayly.

Alison Bashford is currently a Manager of the Smuts Memorial Fund, University of Cambridge, sits on the Advisory Board of the Sir Robert Menzies Centre of Australian Studies, King’s College London, the Centre for Security Studies, University of Sydney, the Harvard Australian Studies Committee, and on the Executive of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.

Alison was elected to the British Academy in 2017 and named the 2021 Dan David Prize Laureate in the History of Health and Medicine.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.