The University of Southampton’s Web Science Institute

Yesterday, The University of Southampton launched the Web Science Institute.  With only one other WSI in England, this is a very exciting time for the University and Web Science programme.   The Institute will study the web and the impacts it has on economics, politics, technology, and society.


(An introduction from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam)

In an interview with BBC News, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, one of the WSI founders, said, “There is a ‘perfect storm’ brewing which combines open data, open education and open research, so this is a very exciting time to be launching the Web Science Institute.”  For the full article, check out:

In addition to the WSI launch, the University’s first MOOC went live yesterday.  This Massive Open Online Course focuses on the origins and evolution of the web.  As of yesterday, thousands have signed up for the course from all over the world.  For more information on the Web Science MOOC, and future University of Southampton MOOCs, visit the Future Learn website:

IMG_2230(Dr. Lisa Harris speaking about the Digital Economy)

Fellow DigiChamp Merel van Dijke and I were invited to the launch to conduct interviews with key members of the WSI as well as other University of Southampton Web Science staff members.  Working with Simon Morice and David Willox, we set-up video equipment, took pictures, and were prepped with questions.  When it came time to conduct the interviews, I was a bit intimidated.  Here I was, an international MSc student, ready to interview some of the most influential people in the Web Science world.

But, once we started rolling, my nerves settled and I started to enjoy the experience. Some of the people we interviewed were:

  • Vice–Chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam
  • Professor, Dame Wendy Hall
  • Professor, Sir Nigel Shadbolt

They were all very nice and extremely knowledgeable, making for smooth, informative interviews.


(Interviewing Professor, Sir Nigel Shadbolt)

With the world of Web Science evolving right before our eyes, this event has made me extremely excited and curious about the knowledge and technologies that will come about in the approaching years.