Faculty Profile

Alex Wellerstein

Building: Morton
Room: 337
Email: [email protected]
School:  College of Arts & Letters
Department:  Science and Technology Studies / Science Communication / Science, Technology & Society
Program:  Science Communication / Science, Technology & Society

B.A. (High Honors), History, University of California, Berkeley, 2002
Ph.D., History of Science, Harvard University, 2010


I am a historian of science who specializes in the history of nuclear weapons. I have also published on the history of eugenics. At times, I have also been a web developer, database programmer, and graphics designer, and I have sought to integrate these digital practices into my research work and in the interest of broadening public understanding of both history and science. 

I am currently under contract to the University of Chicago Press to complete a book on the history of nuclear secrecy in the United States from the Manhattan Project to the present.

I have published numerous articles for both academic and general audiences. I maintain a list of my publications here. Most of my publications have been on the history of nuclear weapons, though I have also published one article in the history of eugenics.

I am also the author of Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog, which I update regularly. I am also the creator of the NUKEMAP, a popular nuclear weapons effects simulator. 

General Information

From 2011-2014, I was an Associate Historian (a postdoctoral position) at the Center for the History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics. For the year prior to that, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Managing the Atom Project (MTA) and the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Lecturer in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. I maintain an affiliation with the MTA program as a Research Associate. I have also had a long association with the Program on Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at the Harvard Kennedy School, and have been their design coordinator for many years.

I have taught at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Georgetown University. As a graduate student I was the Edward Teller Graduate Fellow in Science and Security Studies for the Office of History and Heritage Resources at the U.S. Department of Energy. 

  • HST 320 Science and the Media
  • HST 415 The Nuclear Era