2012 Honorary Degree Citation

Sherry Turkle
Doctor of Science

Sherry Turkle

For three decades, you have explored humanity's relationship with technology. You brought your wisdom to Holy Cross this year, offering your insights in a lecture for our first-year students. With your guidance, they pondered the pleasures and the pitfalls of our digital era. They even lived out these lessons by giving up the Internet and cell phones for 24 hours, learning firsthand about technology's influence on their lives.

Like our students, scholars around the world have been enlightened by your work as the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and as the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

An author of many books, your most recent publication is aptly titled Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. You help us to understand the ways we may be gaining digital connections — while compromising our human ones — in the computer age.

A member of the "cyber elite," you are sought out for your insights by academics and media around the world. Chosen as Ms. magazine's Woman of the Year and, also, as a World Economic Forum Fellow, you are included among ABC News' Top Ten Wired Women, Time magazine's Innovators of the Internet, and Newsweek magazine's top 50 people to watch in cyberspace.

You help us to understand the world of 24-hour communication and information overload. You look ahead to the responsibilities and issues inherent in an age of robots and artificial intelligence yet to be. You offer insight into how relationships are compromised when reduced to texts and posts, and how Blackberries and iPods can steal from us the present moment and our human connections.

That all may know of our high regard for your exploration of the impact of technology on humanity, your lifelong devotion to revealing the vulnerabilities of our times, and for your illuminating scholarship that has won accolades around the globe, the College confers upon you this day the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.