Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Independent Scholar/Freelance Writer
Website URL
History of science, Cold War, diplomatic history, cultural diplomacy, science diplomacy, science policy
Additional Contact Information
Unless I am out of the country, I usually respond to reporters'/producers' queries within 3-5 hours.

Personal Info

About Me

Audra J. Wolfe, Ph.D. is a Philadelphia-based writer, editor, and historian.  She is the author of Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War America and the forthcoming Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science. Her articles have appeared in both scholarly and more popular venues, including the Washington Post, The, Slate, and the popular podcast American History Tellers.

Wolfe holds a Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania (2002). Previously, she studied biochemistry and chemistry at Purdue University (B.S., 1997). She has taught courses on Cold War science as well as science and the media at the University of Pennsylvania. As a publishing professional, Wolfe has worked at the University of Pennsylvania Press, Rutgers University Press, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, where she additionally served as executive producer for an award-winning podcast, Distillations. Her editorial and publishing consulting company, The Outside Reader, supports the work of scholars and scholarly publishers.

Recent Publications

Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018)

Science and Freedom: The Forgotten Bulletin,” in Campaigning Culture and the Cultural Cold War, ed. by Giles Scott-Smith and Charlotte A. Lerg (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

“Who Could Stop War in the Trump Era? These Scientists,” Washington Post, November 14, 2016.

“Why the U.S. Military Still Flies Cold-War Era Planes,” Atlantic, October 18, 2016.

“The Military-Academic-Industrial Complex and the Path Not Taken,” in The National Security Establishment and the Legacy of Harry S. Truman, ed. by Ann Heiss and Michael Hogan (Truman State University Press, 2015).

“When Scientists Do What Diplomats Can’t,” Atlantic, September 26, 2015.

Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013)

“The Cold War Context of the Golden Jubilee, Or, Why We Think of Mendel as the Farther of Genetics.” Journal of the History of Biology 45 (2012): 389–14.

Media Coverage
I have appeared as a guest on PRI's The World, WHYY's Radio Times, WHYY's The Pulse, and numerous podcasts. Press mentions include Pacific Standard, Physics Today, the San Diego Union Tribune and others.
Country Focus
United States ("US in the World")
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Diplomacy, Military, Science