December 14, 2020

Evanston, IL – In partnership with the Northwestern University’s Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group, the Web Science Trust (WST) is launching a new podcast entitled ”Untangling the Web”.

This new series is hosted by Web Science expert, Northwestern University professor and President-Elect-Select of the International Communications Association (ICA), Noshir Contractor. Noshir interviews thought leaders in the technology and research space to help all of us (including non-experts) navigate some of the most burning issues in Web Science: the study of how the Web is shaping and influencing our society just as we are shaping and influencing the Web. And how the Web is influencing the way we live in the midst of a pandemic for better or for worse. 

 In each episode Noshir invites guests with unique perspectives and policy/research experiences to talk about various facets of Web Science. Guests include some of the founders of Web Science, including Jim Hendler and Dame Wendy Hall. 

Through this, listeners can hear about the challenges — and excitement — that comes with understanding how networks of people and machines interact on a global scale.  And why we must fear that we might be on the brink of the Internet splintering into 4 distinct “splinternets.”

We’ll learn to expect the unexpected Web Science is as human and social as it is technical and data-based. That means the behaviors of people in these networks and the properties of these technologies constantly bring fresh difficulties, questions, and innovations. As government, business and academia all seek to harness the power of these historically ungoverned networks, they must do so without falling victim to unintended consequences.

New episodes will be released on a regular basis and will be available from the WST website, and the podcast homepage; you can also subscribe from major podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple, Google and SoundCloud. Follow our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for updates. 

The launch of the UTW podcast includes a starter pack of five episodes promoted the week Starting Monday December 14, 2020 through Friday, December 18, 2020. Each day “Untangling the Web” will showcase one of the episodes.  


To learn more about this podcast, please contact

Room 3041, Building 32

Web Science Trust

University of Southampton

Southampton SO17 1BJ 



About SONIC 

The Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group  at Northwestern University advances theories and methodologies to better understand and enable networks in a wide range of social settings. 

For more information, please visit

About the Web Science Trust

The Web Science Trust (WST) is a charity promoting the understanding of the Web, through education and research in the discipline of Web Science. It hosts the WSTNet network of top-class Web Science laboratories from around the world.

For more information, please visit

The episodes include:

  • “Web Science – Why now more than ever?” with Jim Hendler, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) (14 December 2020)
  • “Symphonic Social Science – and Web Science” with Susan Halford, University of Bristol (15 December 2020)
  • “Web Science – From the Beginning and Beyond” with Dame Wendy Hall, University of Southampton (16 December 2020)
  • “From Social Networking to Social Petworking” with Jen Golbeck, University of Maryland (17 December 2020)
  • “The Bits and Bots of the Web” with Fil Menczer, Indiana University (18 December 2020)