Helge Kragh

Helge Kragh, born in Copenhagen in 1944, is professor of history of science and technology at Aarhus University, Denmark. He holds two doctorates, one in the sciences and the other in the humanities. After graduating in physics and chemistry from the University of Copenhagen he became a high school teacher, cultivating in his spare time his interests in the history of science. After two years as associate professor at Cornell University he was in 1995 appointed professor of history of science at the University of Oslo, Norway, and in 1997 he obtained his present position.

Kragh’s primary research interests are in the history of the physical sciences since about 1800, but he has also contributed to the history of technology, historiography of science, and science-religion studies. Within the physical sciences he has written on the history of both physics, chemistry and astronomy, often with a preference for interdisciplinary fields such as cosmochemistry, astrophysics and physical chemistry. Among Kragh’s main works in the history of physics are a biography of Paul Dirac (1990) and Quantum Generations (1999), a historical survey of twentieth-century physics. Since about 1990 he has focused on the history of cosmology, in particular the development of physical cosmology. This has resulted in several papers and books, including Cosmology and Controversy (1996), Matter and Spirit in the Universe (2004), and Conceptions of Cosmos (2007). His most recent book is Higher Speculations (2011), a historically based analysis of modern theories in cosmology and fundamental physics.

Kragh has been active in the organization of international history of science and is a co-founder of the European Society for the History of Science. In 2008-2010 he served as president of this organization.