Siddhartha Mukherjee

Williams College President Maud S. Mandel and Siddhartha MukherjeeYou have written a biography of cancer. Then a history of the gene. Then sheet music, of a sort, transcribing what you describe so beautifully as the songs of cells.

You have woven bits and pieces from your own story and that of your family throughout these extraordinary books. Other remarkable characters—from today and from history—populate your pages as well.

Because you do not practice traditional science writing. Yes, of course, you explain complex biology and recount important advances in research. But you also spin tales of triumph. You astonish us with accounts of malpractice and malarkey. You place scientific thought into the context of the societies from which it springs.

Most important, perhaps, you make clear that science is, as you have put it, a “human endeavor,” replete with not only advances but also mistakes and misunderstandings. It is, in your view, entwined with our lives in fundamental ways, ways that we ignore at our peril.

Innovative cancer researcher. Practicing oncologist. Best-selling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Emperor of All Maladies, the best-selling The Gene and the acclaimed The Song of the Cell.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Science, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.

June 2, 2024