Web Science Institute official launch!

Royal Society, London – Thursday 12th June 2014

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This was the formal launch of the world leading Web Science Institute.

Click the link below to see the full event programme and details:

WSI Launch Brochure

The day kicked off at 10:30 am with a Web Science Institute in the City of London rooms with various organisations including the Open Data Institute (@UKODI, http://theodi.org) and the Web Science Trust (@websciencetrust, http://www.webscience.org). Of particular interest was the stand run by Southampton Fraunhofer Web Science Internet research and development (@SoFWIRed, http://www.sofwired.org) where representatives of their organisation were demonstrating the steps forward that they have made in developing digital advertisement, among other technologies.

The main launch kicked off in the afternoon. Professor Don Nutbeam, VC of the University gave a welcoming address, expressing the importance and success of interdisciplinary research at the university, citing the WSI as a perfect example of this. 

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, one of the directors of the WSI and founders of Web Science, thanked the VC and the university for all their support in the funding, setting up, and launch of the WSI. She invited up fellow directors Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Professor Les Carr, and Professor Susan Halford to reminisce on the initial brainstorming of the idea of Web Science, and where it went and where it is going.

Below is a video showing the welcome and speeches by the WSI directors:

We then had two keynote talks. The first was from JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist at www.salesforce.co.uk and one of the trustees of the Web Science trust. This is shown below:

The second was from Professor Richard Susskind OBE, President of the Society for Computers and Law, and IT advisor to the Lord Chief Justice. He is also the author of numerous texts (including “The end of Lawyers?”). This keynote is shown below.

Following on from this there was a short break for refreshments. Then began a panel session involving the following individuals:

  • Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt (Chair)
  • Professor Dame Wendy Hall
  • Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee
  • Visiting Professor Liam Maxwell (Chief Technology Officer for HM Government)
  • Professor Susan Halford

The topic for discussion was “How can Web Science help shape the Web we want?”

I was live blogging from the whole event and was doing my best to keep up with all the points etc. You can view my live blog by clicking here.

From a personal point of view, the day was exceptionally inspiring. To be in the room with so many world-leading researchers including the inventor of the web is a memory that will stay with me for a very long time! It was an excellent opportunity to network and meet a wide variety of people from different backgrounds! I am incredibly grateful to the university for such an awesome experience and look forward to hopefully attending further events in the future to promote Web Science and the WSI.

Below are just some of the highlights from Twitter with the hashtag #LaunchWSI:

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