New Group Encourages Colleges to Start Programs in ‘Web Science’

The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, announced a new nonprofit group last week to promote the study of “Web science,” arguing that his creation deserves its own specific research focus.

The group, Web Science Trust, has set up a Wiki where universities offering Web-science programs can list their offerings and links to their course syllabi.

Why set up a separate Web-science program when other fields already cover the topic? “Most computers science isn’t about the Web, and most information science isn’t about the Web,” said James Hendler, a computer-science professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who is a leader of the new effort. He named climate science as another new research area that has emerged in recent years by pulling people from different disciplines into the focused study of one area.

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