WIT remembers the renowned Irish scientist Prof. Mike Cooley

Prof Mike Cooley

Prof Mike Cooley

Prof. Cooley was a leading Irish scientist who championed the concept of human-centred technological innovation, many of his works now preserved by WIT

The Institute is very saddened by the passing of Professor Mike Cooley, internationally acclaimed Irish scientist, author and pioneer of ‘human-centred systems’ advocating a socially-responsible approach to the development of advanced technologies which enshrines human dignity and craft.

WIT has had a long relationship with Professor Cooley through the INSYTE centre for information systems research and also through the Luke Wadding Library in recent years. Through INSYTE, the Cooley family donated Professor Cooley’s personal library and correspondence, a special collection of international significance, which is now curated in WIT’s library special collections facility. In 2019 the Cooley family kindly gave WIT permission to use Professor Cooley’s name on the new INSYTE-Cooley Research Laboratory housed at the digitisation hub of the Luke Wadding Library.

Larry Stapleton, director of the laboratory and head of INSYTE, stated “at a time when the onward march of digital technology is transforming working life and human relationships, Professor Cooley’s vision has never been more important. WIT information systems research and postgraduate teaching programmes embody his vision of a world in which human dignity is enhanced by advanced technologies. We are extremely grateful to the Cooley family for their support of our work here in the Institute and extend our deepest sympathies to all the family”.

Speaking about the loss of Prof Mike Cooley, Dr Mark White, vice president of research, innovation and graduate studies at WIT highlighted the considerable contribution that Professor Cooley made to the international academic community and to society as a whole. “His influences, impact and person-centred approaches have influenced many professional and academic disciplines and his family should be very proud that their Dad, husband and brother is so well regarded across the globe. WIT is truly honoured to house so much of his work and outputs in our Library collection” he continued.

Kieran Cronin of the Luke Wadding Library, described Professor Cooley as someone whose “humanity, intelligence and willingness to struggle for what is right is a great inspiration to us all”.

Paying tribute to Prof. Mike Cooley President Higgins described his life as “one of deep commitment to the importance of the person, in every type of work, and to the trade union movement’s important role in advancing these aims.” The President wrote the foreword for Cooley’s most recent work, “Delinquent Genius: The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology”.

For more on the WIT-Mike Cooley link see “Influential Irish Engineer and Cybernetician Prof Mike Cooley Archive Donated To WIT”

For more on the Cooley special collection and Mike Cooley’s legacy see the following article in AI and Society, a journal he founded: Announcing The Professor Cooley Archive at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland: A Celebration of the Legacy of Mike Cooley.

President Higgins full tribute to Prof. Mike Cooley can be found here.

Ar dheis dé go raibh a hanam

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