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Judith Donath synthesizes knowledge from fields such as urban design, evolutionary biology and cognitive science to build innovative interfaces for on-line communities and virtual identities. A member of the Harvard Berkman Klein Fellows Advisory Board and formerly director of the Sociable Media Group at MIT Media Lab, she created several of the earliest social applications for the web and her work with the Sociable Media Group has been shown in museums and galleries worldwide. She is the author of The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online (MIT Press) and is known internationally for her writing on identity, interface design, and social communication. She is working on a book about how the economics of honesty shape our world.



Mar 11, 2010

Radio Berkman 146: The Early Days of the Avatar

This week on Radio Berkman: Jeremy Bailenson of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab sits down with Judith Donath... More

Jan 14, 2010

Radio Berkman 141: Signaling in the Wild, Signaling Online

This week on Radio Berkman: Dan Jones learns about signaling theory and the ubiquity of communicative behavior from Judith Donath... More

Feb 17, 2009

Radio Berkman: Restrictions, Connections, Visualizations

This week on Radio Berkman: Jonathan Zittrain and Judith Donath discuss, respectively, Herdict Web and the "Connections" exhibition at the MIT Museum... More

Feb 11, 2009

Making (digital) airwaves

This week has been thick with Berkman-related audio: conversations with Judith Donath, John Palfrey, David Hornik, and Esra'a Al Shafei all made their way onto the Net... More



The Robot Dog Fetches for Whom?

"A boy sits with his dog at the edge of a beautiful and serene lake. Under the blue sky, the far shore is visible, with a short wide beach and green woods behind it. The boy…

May 7, 2017


Signals, Truth & Design - Fall 2007

Much of what we want to know about other people is not directly perceivable. Are you a nice person? Are you feeling angry? If we fell in love and got married would you be a good… More


May 20, 2014 @ 6:00 PM

Book Launch: The Social Machine

Judith Donath, Berkman Center Fellow

Computers were first conceived as “thinking machines,” but in the twenty-first century they have become social machines, online places where people meet friends, play games, and… More

Mar 5, 2014 @ 6:30 PM

US Launch of *impossible*

with special guests Lily Cole, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Rosemary Leith, Jonathan Zittrain, Judith Donath, and Urs Gasser

On March 5, the Berkman Center will celebrate the US launch of *impossible*. Joining us will be Lily Cole, founder of *impossible* and fashion model, actress, and social… More

Jun 25, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

REWIRE: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection

A book launch with the author, Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the MIT Center for Civic Media

A rousing call to action for those who would be citizens of the world—online and off. More

Nov 13, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

This is Improbable

Featuring Marc Abrahams and other special guests

Marc Abrahams -- publisher of the Annals of Improbable Research, host of the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, and author of several books (including his latest, This is Improbable:… More

Apr 25, 2008 @ 9:00 AM


In the making since '94

Mix up a bunch of super famous internet memes, some brainy academics, a big audience, dump them in Cambridge, MA and you've got ROFLCon. More

Feb 5, 2008 @ 12:30 PM

Designing Society

Judith Donath, Berkman Fellow and MIT Media Lab Social Media Group

In this talk, Judith Donath, a Berkman Fellow and Director of the MIT Social Media Group, discussed how design affects identity, reputation, and trust by presenting several design… More

Sep 18, 2007 @ 12:30 PM

The Future of Net - One Web Day / Berkman's 10th Anniversary

Wendy Seltzer, Judith Donath, Gene Koo, and Jonathan Zittrain

Berkman Fellows and Faculty Judith Donath, Gene Koo, Wendy Seltzer, and Jonathan Zittrain discuss The Future of the Internet, in celebration of OneWebDay. More

Jul 16, 2007 @ 12:00 AM

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP)

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP) is a joint effort of the Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute, which provides top doctoral students from around the world with the… More

Oct 13, 2004 @ 1:30 PM

Honest Signaling and Other Strategies for Building Reliability and Trust on the Internet

Trusted exchange and social relationships depend upon honest signaling, an assessment of social and biological risks, as well as the ability to detect and expel cheaters. This… More