Manuel Castells, professor in sociology at the Open University of Catalonia, received an honorary doctorate from the UAB after being proposed for the award by the Faculty of Communication Studies. The ceremony took place on 19 December at the conference hall of the Rectorat building. Faculty professors Enric Marín and Joan Manuel Tresseras sponsored the award.
Castells is an internationally renowned figure in communication sciences. According to the classification by the Social Science Citation Index, he was the most cited researcher in this academic field during the 2000-2015 period. In addition to the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), he is professor of the University of Southern California, emeritus professor of the University of California, Berkeley and chair professor at the Collège d'Études Mondiales in Paris. He has also lectured at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oxford University, the University of California, Santa Clara, Cambridge University, the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), South Africa, and many others.
He is the author of 26 books including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture (Blackwell), and is co-author and publisher of 22 more works. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1982. He has been a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Information Technology and Global Development, and a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Panel on the Global Civil Society. He is also a founding member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council and member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology. He is a full member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Economics and Finances and member of the British Academy, the Academy of Europe, the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Among the many distinctions he has received are the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Order of the Lion of Finland, the Order of Gabriela Mistral from the president of Chile, the Order of Santiago from the president of Portugal, the Holberg Prize from the Norwegian Parliament, the Spanish National Award for Sociology, the Saint George Cross from the Government of Catalonia, the Erasmus Medal from the Academy of Europe, and several awards from the American Society for the Study of Social Problems, the American Sociological Association and the American Political Science Association.