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...

WebSci’23 is now over and WebSci’24 is coming to Germany

WebSci'23 is now over and we thank everyone who made it such as success. We'll keep you posted on the proceedings and any follow-up news whilst keeping you up-to-date on preprations for the next event in Stuttgart, Germany May 21 – 24, 2024.

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 and Texas.

The next event is in Brussels on Friday 12th May so Register for the next Brave Conversation and become part of the Conversation.

Summer School

TBA, 2023

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

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...

Nov 22, 2023

WebSci’24 upcoming dates

ACM WebSci’24: Call for SubmissionsConference Dates: May 21-24, 2024websci24.org/ Hosted by the Interchange Forum for Reflecting on Intelligent Systems (IRIS) | Organized by the University of Stuttgart | Partners ACM • Cyber Valley • Web Science Trust • SigWeb...

Nov 14, 2023

Apollo Research demonstrates the Elephant in the room with AI ethics

Apollo research recently presented some disturbing findings at the UK AI safety summit. Their goal had been to co-erce (rather than instruct) an AI (in this case ChatGPT) to engage in some deceitful / illegal activity on the premise of this being helpful to humans...

Nov 14, 2023

EU Lawmakers tackle Election interference

European lawmakers have reached an agreement on measures to safeguard elections and prevent policy fragmentation within the EU. The rules aim to protect EU elections from foreign interference, banning political ads targeting specific ethnic and religious groups and...

Nov 13, 2023

OpenAI release new features for DIY GPT’s

ChatGPT developer Open AI have introduced a slew of new features to their platform including faster (and cheaper!) versions of ChatGPT and DALL-E as well as a platform for building DIY AI Assistants and DIY versions of LLM apps known as GPT's. Open AI is clearly...

Nov 13, 2023

UK Gov calls for greater use of facial recognition.

The UK government is encouraging police to expand their use of retrospective facial recognition (RFR) software to identify offenders. The policing minister has recommended over 200,000 image searches against the Police National Database within six months. This...

Nov 13, 2023

X wants us to Grok …

Elon Musk's xAI (nee Twitter) have just released a beta product named  Grok (named from Sci-Fi author Robert Heinlein's cyber-slang) meaning "to understand" Grok is based on large language models (LLM's) like ChatGPT and has been trained on millions of articles...

Nov 6, 2023

Bletchley Declaration released from AI Safety Summit

Source: The following is reproduced in full from the UK Gov Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ai-safety-summit-2023-the-bletchley-declaration/the-bletchley-declaration-by-countries-attending-the-ai-safety-summit-1-2-november-2023 Nov 6th 2023...

Nov 6, 2023

ACM WebSci’24 deadline approaching

Call for Papers ACM WebSci’24 ● 16th ACM Web Science Conference May 21 – May 24, 2024 ● Stuttgart, Germany Reflecting on the Web, AI, and Society https://websci24.webscience.org/ Important Dates Thu, November 30, 2023: Paper submission deadline Wed, January 31,...