The Empathy Diaries: A Memoir (Penguin Press, 2021), a new book by BPSI Affiliate Scholar Member, Sherry Turkle, PhD, ties together her personal story with her groundbreaking research on technology, empathy, and ethics. In this vivid and poignant narrative, Turkle ties together her coming-of-age and her pathbreaking research on technology, empathy, and ethics. Growing up in postwar Brooklyn, Turkle searched for clues to her identity in a house filled with mysteries. She mastered the codes that governed her mother’s secretive life. She learned never to ask about her absent scientist father–and never to use his name, her name. Before empathy became a way to find connection, it was her strategy for survival.
Turkle’s intellect and curiosity brought her to worlds on the threshold of change. She learned friendship at a Harvard-Radcliffe on the cusp of coeducation during the antiwar movement, she mourned the loss of her mother in Paris as students returned from the 1968 barricades, and she followed her ambition while fighting for her place as a woman and a humanist at MIT. There, Turkle found turbulent love and chronicled the wonders of the new computer culture, even as she warned of its threat to our most essential human connections. The Empathy Diaries captures all this in rich detail–and offers a master class in finding meaning through a life’s work.
Meet the Author at a virtual Boston Athenaeum event on Thu, June 3, at 6-7pm EDT: https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/events/7414/clone-virtual-event-book-talk-empathy-diaries-memoir
About the Author
Sherry Turkle, PhD, is a BPSI Affiliate Scholar Member and the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, and the founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Dr. Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She writes and comments on culture and therapy, mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics. She is the author of many books, including the New York Times bestseller, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other; The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit; Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet; and Simulation and Its Discontents, and one book about the history of psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud’s French Revolution. She is also an editor of Evocative Objects: Things We Think With; Falling for Science: Objects in Mind; and The Inner History of Devices.