Web Science Trust

Untangling the Web of Humans and Technology

Annual Conference: ACM WebSci'24

Thanks to everyone who made WebSci’23 in Austin, Texas such a success – We are already looking forward to seeing you at WebSci’24: May 21 – 24, 2024 in Stuttgart, Germany.




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

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...

WST White Paper on Privacy

Law has granted individuals some rights over the use of data about them, but data protection rights have not redressed the balance between the individual and the tech giants. A number of approaches aim to augment personal rights to allow individuals to police their...

Web Science White paper – Building trust

Southamptons WSI have produced a collection of Web Science white papers. This white paper sets out how to embody a Data Governance Model which builds trust, particularly when used with large group data sharing, within and between different organisations through the...

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 Stuttgart, Germany May 21 – 24, 2024

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 Trustee 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 and become part of the Conversation.

Summer School

TBA, 2024

Stay tuned for the next in the series of Web Science summer schools created by our wider WSTNet community to engage students from international research labs


WebSci Conference

May 21 – 24, 2024 STUTTGART, GERMANY

The ACM Web Science conference (WebSci’24) is coming to Stuttgart, Germany for #WebSci24, taking place May 21 – 24, 2024


Web Science News / Blog

News and Blog posts

Jan 28, 2024

New ACM Fellows include three Web Science colleagues

We are delighjted to annouce that the recently announced list of 68 2023 ACM fellows includes not one but three of our Web Science colleagues. In alphabetical order: Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee - co-founder, WST patron and former trustee on the Web Science Trust...

Jan 9, 2024

New AI tool improves bug detection rates

A team of computer researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has introduced an advanced method named Baldur to significantly reduce software bugs and improve code verification. Combining large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT with the Thor tool,...

Dec 20, 2023

New paper on AI public policy

The Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton are pleased to share with you their latest Position Paper authored by Ben Hawes and Prof Dame Wendy Hall Abstract The UK’s international Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit has answered some questions and...

Dec 6, 2023

IBM & Meta form new AI alliance

IBM and Meta have launched the AI Alliance, a global community of technology developers, researchers, and adopters collaborating to advance open, safe, and responsible AI. The alliance includes over 50 founding members and collaborators, including: AMD, CERN,...

Dec 3, 2023

GenAI tools highlight potential flaws in Grant Applications

ChatGPT is continuing to show the cracks in established documentation processes and "gate-keeping" systems... Historically the written word has been used as part of the application process to judge the quality of the applicant(ion) and to dissuade casual applicants...

Dec 3, 2023

Legal challenge over £330m NHS Palantir Deal

Campaigners are taking legal action to stop a data-sharing deal between the NHS and Palantir, a US tech company, due to worries about patient privacy. Palantir secured a £330 million contract to create a Federated Data Platform (FDP) for the NHS, aiming to improve...

Nov 29, 2023

Ransomware gang makes an official complaint to SEC

In a mildly comedic response, a ransomware gang decided to file an official SEC complaint when a victim ignored their ransom demand.   The AlphV/BlackCat ransomware group has filed a complaint with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against...

Nov 28, 2023

Have OpenAI made an AGI breakthrough?

Before OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was ousted, researchers at OpenAI reportedly sent a letter to the board warning of a significant AI breakthrough with "potential risks to humanity". The letter and a new AI algorithm, referred to as Q* (Q-star), it has been claimed, may...

Nov 28, 2023

Multiple countries sign AI accord with notable exceptions

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies from 18 countries, including the EU, the US, and others, have signed an international agreement on AI safety to ensure new AI technologies are "secure by design." This follows the EU's AI Act, which bans certain AI...