Universities launch project on internet's social implications

November 7, 2006

Brussels, 6 November 2006

The University of Southampton in the UK and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US have announced a new project to study the social and technological implications of the internet.

The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) will be funded with private money - Google and IBM have already given their backing. Much of the funding will be used to establish a research centre that will sponsor PHD students, and ultimately support undergraduate courses in web science.

'The Web is basically a web of people. It's a way that social people interact,' said Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. 'Because it's something we created, we have a duty to make it better.'

'We want to throw some light on forecasting what these new technologies might lead to in the human sense, in the community sense- and in the business,' said Wendy Hall, a professor of computer science at the University of Southampton.

The project will be multi-disciplinary, bringing together social sciences, psychology, life sciences and more technical sciences.

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2006
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