2007 Commencement

Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 14:50
Honorary Degree Citation
Eleanor Reed Adair '48
May 27, 2007

Eleanor Reed Adair, class of 1948, your alma mater is proud to honor you at this fifth-ninth anniversary of your own graduation for your exceptional career in scientific research and public service.

After studying physiological psychology at Mount Holyoke and earning a Ph.D. in psychophysics at the University of Wisconsin, you began your research career at the John B. Pierce laboratory at Yale University. Your earliest work involved studying the physiological effects of microwave radiation on primates. You went on to author over 100 papers, reports, books, chapters, and other publications over the next half century, establishing yourself as a luminary in your field. In 1996, you were appointed Senior Scientist in Electromagnetic Radiation Effects at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Brooks Air Force Base. Brooks provided you the facilities to do what other scientists had yet to do: study the effects of microwave radiation on human beings. I am pleased to note that the news is good: you concluded that our microwave ovens and cell phones do not pose an immediate health risk.

Not content to perform research in the abstract, you have been integrally involved in developing health and safety standards around electromagnetic radiation. In 1994 you were recognized for this and related work by being named Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., one of many honors. Throughout your remarkable career, you have served your country and you have served science by ensuring that technology and human beings can co-exist in good health.

Eleanor Reed Adair, class of 1948, your career illustrates how much science has evolved since 1837, but you brilliantly affirm Mary Lyon's faith that women can indeed do science. It is with great pleasure that I confer upon you your second Mount Holyoke degree, the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

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2007 Commencement Home Page

Honorary Degree Recipient Address
By Eleanor Reed Adair '48