Web Science Trust

Untangling the Web of Humans and Technology

50th Anniversary of the Internet

We would like to invite you to join us for a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Internet on 15th July 2024 at The Royal Society, London. 

We are pleased to have the co-inventor of the Internet, Dr Vint Cerf, opening the event, followed by a series of panels with eminent speakers that will look back at what the Internet has achieved in the last fifty years and focus on the next generation of the Internet and AI.

The event will take place in-person at Royal Society, 9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG and a livestream link will be available for those who cannot attend in person.

For those attending in person, there will be a drinks and canapes reception to close.

Please confirm your attendance by registering online here.


Annual Conference: ACM WebSci'24 is over ..

Thanks to everyone who made WebSci’24 in Stuttgart, Germany such a success – We are already looking forward to seeing you at WebSci’25: May 20 – 23, 2025 in New Brunswick, NJ, USA.




Web Science White Paper Series

WST has commissioned a new series of white papers by leading authors on current issues affecting society as it struggles to resolves its relationship with Technology.

Untangling the Web

Interviews: hosted by Noshir Contractor

Book: Seven Veils of Privacy

Here, Kieron O'Hara details a framework of seven levels to help separate the effects and affects of privacy from the facts. In looking at when a privacy boundary is crossed or not, this framework helps citizens think about when that's problematic, and why this differs...

WebSci’24 Latest News

WebSci’24 promises a rich exploration of web science through: Workshops Tutorials A Ph.D. symposium Five inspiring keynotes. In addition to keynotes by Eszter Hargittai, Jie Tang, Dirk Hovy, Hannes Werthner, and Jennifer Pan, we look forward to the panel discussion,...

Digital Modernity

Digital Modernity   “Modernity” is a social, cultural, or historical descriptor for a certain type of society or set of social arrangements. It is a contentious and disputed term, often understood implicitly. It is a way of describing and classifying highly...

Web3 – the promise and the reality

Web3 describes a group of technologies for managing collective interactions on the internet while avoiding centralised control, granting users agency over access to their data, and managing distribution of value as digital assets. The technologies are distributed...

What is Web Science?

Web Science is the study of the most complex piece of technology ever created. The Web comprises billions of technical and human components operating globally, with each piece subtly influencing the others. Multiple expert perspectives across scientific disciplines are required to build an understanding of how the Web changes society just as much as society changes the Web. 

Get Involved

WST works with universities. think tanks, research groups, governments, businesses and private individuals to better understand the nature and impact the Web will continue to have on society.

Click below to learn more about the research,  courses, events, training, conferences and outreach we offer, support and promote.






About Us

The Web Science Trust is a UK charity hosted by the University of Southampton which brings together world class thinkers and research in Web Science. We are a not-for-profit group representing 20 of the leading universities and research groups and headed by international thought leaders in Web Science and Socio-technical systems.

WSTNet Laboratories

Our global network of research labs

WST Newsletter

A round-up of News and Events

WebSci Courses & Summer Schools

Find WebSci and related courses

WebSci courses and WSTNet Summer School

Brave Conversations

Our international public outreach series

Join Anni Rowland-Campbell and her team ...

Untangling the Web

A podcast from the Web Science Trust.

Join Noshir Contractor for a new series ..

Web Science Policy & Advice

Our Trustee led think-tank

Advising leaders in Government & Business

ACM Web Science Conference

Our international academic conference.
Next conference to be held in New Brunswick, New Jersey in the US May 20 – 23, 2025

14 years, thousands of researchers

The Video Vault

Watch videos from WebSci events and our YouTube channel

Publications & Research

Leading books, papers and talks on Web Science

Our Mission & Vision

Our vision and mission for the Trust is to help grow an understanding of the Web through interdisciplinary scientific methods.

We need to understand the Web, because it is evolving alongside society. Social and technical innovation drive each other. There is no longer a distinction between online and offline; the Web involves virtually all of us to some degree. If it is to benefit humankind, we need to understand the Web, engineer it sensitively and sustainably, anticipate its effects, and also anticipate the consequences of social change upon it. Web Science must therefore involve both engineering the technology, and analysing its impact.

Evolving technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, new practices, such as social machines and telemedicine, and new contexts, such as the pandemic lockdowns, will only accelerate social and technical change via, and as a direct result of, the Web.

Web Science must therefore include, at a minimum, mathematics, network science, sociology, law, ethics, psychology, computer science, media studies, linguistics, geography, and so on. Virtually all disciplines have something to say about the Web. The Web, as a diverse network, demands a research community to reflect the diversity of cultural, legal, political, commercial and technical structures which affect, and in turn are affected by, the Web.


Why is Web Science important?

Listen to WST Fellow Danny Weitzner put the importance of Web Science into context.

Brave Conversations

Brave Conversations near you?

Brave Conversations have recently been to Barcelona, Sharjah, Texas, Brussels and London.

Head over to the website for the next Brave Conversation in Stuttgart and become part of the Conversation.

Public events

See event Calendar

We work with WSTNet members, partners and the wider community to encourage academia, industry, government and the general public to learn more about Web Science


WebSci Conference


The ACM Web Science conference (WebSci’25) is coming to New Jersey for #WebSci25, taking place May 20 – 23, 2025


Web Science News / Blog

News and Blog posts

Jun 24, 2024

Time to democratize our Digital Future

The recent stunning AI developments call for fast and vigorous action, free from the illusions of the turn of the 21st century, so that the benevolent potential of these technologies can start being harnessed for the collective good.   After the collapse of...

Jun 20, 2024

Noshir Contractor named new WST Exec Director

Northwestern Engineering’s Noshir Contractor has been named Executive Director of the Web Science Trust (WST), effective May 1, 2024. Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering, the...

Jun 6, 2024

SG of the UN stark warning on AI

Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has posted a warning regarding "a dystopian AI future"  and points to the upcoming UN conference: Summit of the Future. 

Jun 6, 2024

Brave Conversations WebSci’24

Summaries of the latest Brave Conversations - hosted at WebSci'24 in Stuttgart are now on-line. Please click below to read more..

Jun 5, 2024

WebSci’24 Keynote Videos

WebSci'24 keynote talks have been kindly released for public catch-up viewing by the ACM.  Please note this is a playlist of several talks.

Jun 3, 2024

TikTok users being shown election disinformation claims BBC

Young voters in key election battlegrounds are being recommended fake AI-generated videos featuring party leaders, misinformation, and clips littered with abusive comments, the BBC has found. With TikTok emerging as a new social media battleground in this election,...

Jun 3, 2024

New EU AI Act

The EU's AI Act will come into force shortly following its recent approval ... Summary of Legislative Process and Analyses of the AI Act: Legislative Process: The AI Act, approved by the Council of the EU on May 21, is the world's first legislation of its kind. It...

May 27, 2024

Announcement for WebSci’25

During the closing ceremony of the 16th ACM WebSci conference we learned where/when the 17th conference will be held next year. One of our newer WSTNet Labs, Rutgers University, will be our hosts next year in New Brunswick, New Jersey in the USA. The conference...

May 22, 2024

Web Science Trust selects 2024 winner of Test of Time award

The annual Web Science Trust (WST) Test of Time Award has been presented to Albert Solé Ribalta (UOC), Manlio De Domenico (UniPD), Sergio Gomez (URV), and Alex Arenas (URV), for their work titled “Centrality rankings in multiplex networks”. The authors are the...