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Web science: a new frontier









The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG



Organised by Professor Nigel Shadbolt (University of Southampton), Professor Dame Wendy Hall (University of Southampton), Professor James Hendler (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Professor Bill Dutton (University of Oxford).

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? This interdisciplinary meeting discussed these and other issues as it presents the components of a Science of the Web.

Video recordings of many of the presentations are available below.

The proceedings of this meeting have been published in a special issue of Philosophical Transactions A.

This discussion meeting was followed by a satellite meeting, Web science: exploring the frontier.

Tweet about this meeting using #RSWebSci, or follow us on Twitter @RSWebSci

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Schedule of talks


17 talks Show detail Hide detail


Professor Nigel Shadbolt FREng, University of Southampton, UK

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The structure of the Web

Professor Albert-László Barabási, Northeastern University and Harvard Medical School, USA

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Networks and webs in ecosystems and financial systems

Lord May of Oxford FRS

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Discussion with Barabasi and May

Lord May of Oxford FRS
Professor Albert-László Barabási, Northeastern University and Harvard Medical School, USA

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The mathematics of Web science: structure, dynamics and incentives

Dr Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft Research, USA

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Understanding social and information networks

Professor Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University, USA

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Programming the social computer: using computational logic to specify webs of interaction

Professor David Robertson, University of Edinburgh

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Towards a decentralised and personalised Web

Dr Anne-Marie Kermarrec, INRIA Bretagne-Atlantique, France

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Enhancing communication and creativity with structured data on the Web

Professor David Karger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

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The nature of collective intelligence

Professor Pierre Levy, University of Ottawa, Canada

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Social networks in the internet: what social research knows about it

Professor Manuel Castells FBA, University of Southern California, USA

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New models of government via the Web

Professor Helen Margetts, Oxford Internet Institute, UK

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Augmented intelligence: the Web and human computation

Professor Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

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The EventWeb: towards experiential computing

Professor Ramesh Jain, University of California, Irvine, USA

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Developing Web Science to understand and enable 21st century multidimensional networks

Professor Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University and Web Science Trust, USA

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Will the Web break?

Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, USA

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Future hopes for the Web

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, Web Science Trust, USA

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Web science: a new frontier The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK