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Web Science sets future scientific agenda at Royal Society meeting

Published: 16 September 2010

As part of the Royal Society’s 350 anniversary celebrations a two-day discussion meeting on Web Science will take place in London on 27 and 28 September. The Royal Society discussion meetings address the major scientific questions of the 21st century, aiming to identify and map out vital subjects that will help set the agenda for future generations of scientists.

‘Web Science: A New Frontier’ is organized by Professor Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Dame Wendy Hall of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, Professor James Hendler of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Professor Bill Dutton of the University of Oxford.

Professors Shadbolt, Hall and Hendler are all Directors of the Web Science Trust, which was established in 2009 to advance education and research in Web Science for the public benefit.

The Royal Society meeting will address pertinent questions. The World Wide Web has changed almost every aspect of modern life. It touches us all. The Web's billions of pages, links and other resources comprise the largest information fabric in the history of humanity. Yet the Web is rarely approached as an object of scientific study.

What processes have driven the Web's growth, and will they persist? How does large-scale structure emerge from a simple set of protocols? How does the Web work as a socio-technical system? What drives the viral uptake of certain Web phenomena? What might fragment the Web? The interdisciplinary meeting will discuss these and other issues as it presents the components of a Science of the Web.

Although registration for the event has now closed, those who want to join in the event will be able to do so through a live webcast on The majority of the presentations will then be available to view on demand at with slides approximately three weeks after the meeting end.

During the live webcast, viewers will be encouraged to interact with the discussion meeting using Twitter hash tag #RSWebSci. Bill Thompson will be acting as a special Twitter chair, and will be posing some of questions that have been tweeted.

To be informed when the presentations are available, please register for the waiting list without ticking any days to attend.

Speakers at the event include: Professor Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor Manuel Castells, Dr Jennifer Chayes Professor Ramesh Jain, Lord Robert May of Oxford, Professor David Karger, Dr Anne-Marie Kermarrec. Professor Jon Kleinberg, Professor Pierre Levy, Professor Helen Margetts, Professor Henrietta Moore, Professor David Robertson, Professor Luis von Ahn, Professor Jianping Wu, Professor Jonathan Zittrain

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.

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