Alison is a Ph.D. student in the History of Science Program, where she studies the history of modern chemistry. Her dissertation, “The Other Secret Weapons,” investigates chemical weapons secrecy during the Second World War. Drawing on documents from several belligerents – including the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy – her project examines secrecy, censorship, and espionage alongside transnational exchanges of knowledge. It further asks how these practices of concealment complicated intellectual property disputes in the postwar period.
In the fall of 2019, Alison will co-teach an interdisciplinary course titled “Chemistry and Conflict” for Rider University’s Baccalaureate Honors Program, in collaboration with chemistry professor Bryan Spiegelberg. The course traces the role of chemistry in military conflicts from the French Revolution to the end of the Cold War.
Alison maintains an interest in environmental history, and especially the history of environmental toxicology. She is currently working with Princeton’s Center for Digital Humanities on a project to trace changing attitudes toward environmental carcinogens (project supervisor: Angela Creager).
Prior to attending Princeton, Alison received a B.A. in History and Chemistry from the University of Chicago.