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

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 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 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 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

Apr 11, 2024

Interest in hosting WebSci’26

The Steering Committee of ACM WebSci is seeking statements of interest from organizations or consortia interested in hosting the 18th ACM Web Science Conference (WebSci 2026). The conference series usually moves between the continents.  We will accept bids from all...

Apr 2, 2024

Research shows AI watermarks easily removed

Researchers at ETH Zurich have discovered that watermarks used to identify AI-generated text can be easily removed and copied, making them ineffective. These attacks undermine the credibility of watermarks and could therefore deceive people into trusting misleading...

Apr 1, 2024


After a secretive project hatched by Elon Musk to ensure the future funding of the World Wide Web and "to protect it from the influence of big corporates" it was announced that a group of big corporates known as "The April Consortium" including Tesla, IBM, Google,...

Mar 28, 2024

New EU report on Generative AI

Europe's journey toward establishing regulation and asserting leadership in the realm of Generative AI took center stage at a recent event titled after the report: "Generative AI: Europe's Quest for Regulation and Industry Leadership." Hosted at EIT House in...

Mar 17, 2024

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...

Feb 22, 2024

New paper on LLMs vs SLM for fake news detection

In a recent ArXiv paper Beizhe Hu et al compare the performance of Large Language Models (LLM's) with other more focussed approaches to detect fake news Summary Detecting fake news requires both a delicate sense of diverse clues and a profound understanding of the...

Feb 7, 2024

Google to stop caching webpages

Google is discontinuing its practice of storing a backup of the entire Internet, known as "cached" links in Google Search. This feature allowed users to access websites that were down or had changed. Google's decision to remove this feature is due to improvements...

Feb 2, 2024

NYT sues OpenAI for copyright infringement

The New York Times is suing OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging that they've used an enormous number of NYT articles (into the millions) without permission (citation or payment) to train their AI systems, which unfairly disadvantages the newspaper and infringes their...

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 25, 2024

New UK tax rules on on-line transactions

To combat tax evasion and increase revenue, the UK's HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has introduced new tax rules starting January 1, 2024, aimed at small sellers on platforms like Etsy, Depop, Airbnb, and Vinted. These rules require platforms to record and report...