#WebSci20 – Web Science in the age of Covid-19 by Nathaniel McInnes

Posted on behalf of Nathaniel McInnes

JP Rangaswami, Chair of the Web Science Trust, provided an inspirational view point on how the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the world and how Web Science has positively, (but also negatively) affected peoples’ lives globally. His view point is that Web Science is about dreams and nightmares where dreams can be thought about what we can do, but contrary to this, nightmares when we are all connected.

Focusing on the global technological approach to Covid-19, JP suggests that this pandemic is a dress rehearsal for things to come such as climate change and that nature does not take prisoners. Covid-19 has demonstrated that it is not as easy to communicate as it could be, especially sharing data across time zones and generally what we don’t know, we don’t trust.

JP went on to discuss that every human and government has their own way of discussing or communicating the crisis and that there needs to be an increase in transparency and data sharing, by demonstrating that testing is better in environments where sharing and collaborating was encouraged. JP went on to suggest that digital exclusion has not been well managed due to many people not having good access.

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