Photo: Dale Robbins

Sherry Turkle

Clinical Psychologist

Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2001 she founded the MIT Initiative on Technology and the Self, which she currently directs. Her work at MIT focuses on our relationship with computers and technology. In recent years, with the rise of social networking websites and the widespread use of cell phones, Turkle has begun to study the effects of these advancements on our relationships with each other.

Turkle is the author of several books on digital technology, including the ground-breaking The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit and Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. In these earlier works,  Turkle expresses optimism about the possibility of exploring one’s identity through technology. In her most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology, Turkle expresses new concern that the constant communication afforded us by texting, Twitter, Facebook and other social media, can lead to a breakdown in our capacity for real connections in life offline.

Sherry Turkle has been interviewed about the social and psychological effects of technology for programs such as Frontline, Nightlight, 20/20 and The Colbert Report. She frequently gives talks on the subject, including one at the TED Conference in 2012. She has been profiled in publications such as The New York Times, Wired and Scientific America. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate degree in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.