2 November 2006

Tim Berners-Lee launches research project on social implications of web’s development

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According to the BBC, Sir Tim Berners-Lee (Wikipedia | blog) wants to set up a research project to study the social implications of the web’s development.

“The changes experienced to date because of the internet are just the start of a more radical transformation of society, he says.”

“His new web science research initiative will be more than just computer science, he insists. He wants to attract researchers from a range of disciplines to study it as a social as well as technological phenomenon.”

The British developer of the world wide web also said that he is doing this also because “he is worried about the way it could be used to spread ‘misinformation and undemocratic forces’.”

Read full story (BBC)

Also the New York Times features Berners-Lee today:

“The Web has become such a force in commerce and culture that a group of leading university researchers now deems it worthy of its own field of study.”

“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southampton in Britain plan to announce today that they are starting a joint research program in Web science.”

“Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the Web’s basic software, is leading the program. An Oxford-educated Englishman, Mr. Berners-Lee is a senior researcher at M.I.T., a professor at the University of Southampton and the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, an Internet standards-setting organization.”

“Web science, the researchers say, has social and engineering dimensions. It extends well beyond traditional computer science, they say, to include the emerging research in social networks and the social sciences that is being used to study how people behave on the Web. And Web science, they add, shifts the center of gravity in engineering research from how a single computer works to how huge decentralized Web systems work.”

Read full story (New York Times)

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