Category Archives: Board and fellows

Web Science: The Age of the Social Machine

Anni Rowland-Campbell speaking at the University of Southampton/Digichamps ©2016
Anni Rowland-Campbell speaking at the University of Southampton/Digichamps ©2016/cc by-nc

At the Web Science Institute seminar held earlier this week WST board advisor, Anni Rowland-Campbell spoke on the socio-technical changes that are happening in the world as a result of the Social Machine, which began with the World Wide Web. The talk focused on Tim Berners-Lee proposal of the Web where the “people do the creative work and the machine does the administration”1. Setting out to challenge this, Rowland-Campbell argued that the balance between “man” and “machine” is changing, and the idea of humanity is changing as a result. In her talk she provides a number of suggestions on how this symbiotic relationship between man and machine may play out. 

1 Berners-Lee, T and Fischetti, M, Weaving the Web: The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web, Harper Collins, New York, 1999.

WST Managing Director honoured on Ada Lovelace Day

Professor Dame Wendy Hall receiving the Suffrage Science Award at Bletchley Park
Professor Dame Wendy Hall receiving the Suffrage Science Award at Bletchley Park/Sue Black ©2016

WST Managing Director, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, has received a significant award that honours women in maths and computing.

Professor Hall is one of 12 women to receive a Suffrage Science Award today (11 October) to celebrate their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others, at a special event at Bletchley Park. The event coincides with Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Professor Dame Wendy Hall said: “I’m deeply honoured to receive this award amongst other extraordinary women in maths and computing. However, I remain frustrated by the need for such schemes as Suffrage Science to exist. It will only change if it becomes everyone’s issue and not just a women’s issue. We need to get the language right, which is we’re top scientists, not top women scientists”.

Women make up no more than four in ten undergraduates studying maths (London Mathematical Society), and fewer than two in ten of those studying computer science (WISE report, 2014).

Jim Hendler’s Keynote at ESWC 2016

Jim Hendler at ESWC 2016/ John Dominique ©2016/cc by
Jim Hendler at ESWC 2016/ John Dominique ©2016/cc by

WST Chair, and Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences, Jim Hendler gave the keynote address at the European Semantic Web Conference 2016 in Heraklion, Crete this morning. In his talk, W(h)ither OWL in a Linked Data, Knowledge Graphed World?, Professor Hendler discussed the limitations of Web Ontology Language (OWL), a Semantic Web logic-based language that is used to represent relations between things. His talk focused on how and why the adoption OWL has failed to live up to expectations, and the possible futures of knowledge description on the Web.

See “Jim Hendler’s Keynote at ESWC 2016” on Storify.

Dame Wendy joins the “Inspiring Fifty”

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Professor Dame Wendy Hall introducing the Cross-Institute Datathon/Digichamps ©2015/cc by-nc

Web Science Trust Managing Director, Professor Dame Wendy Hall has been named one of the top most inspirational women in European technology by the Inspiring Fifty programme. Recognising Dame Wendy’s prominent global role in the development of the Semantic Web, and the academic discipline of Web Science (which celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year), judges on the Inspiring Fifty panel acknowledged the significant part she has played in encouraging women into Science, Engineering and Technology. Dame Wendy has, they say:

“shattered many glass ceilings … to promote the role of women in SET, and acting as an important role model for others”.

In addition to her work at the WST, Dame Wendy is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Executive Director of the Web Science Institute. One of the first computer scientists to work in ground-breaking multimedia and hypermedia research, Dame Wendy’s contribution is of international significance. She currently leads Semantic Web application research, and explores the interface between the life sciences and physical sciences.

Changes to the WST Board

The Trust are delighted to announce the appointment of two new trustees and a special advisor to the board.

We would like to offer our gratitude and deepest appreciation to Sir John Taylor who is stepping down as Chairman and who becomes a senior fellow and special advisor to the board.

Professor Jim Hendler has kindly accepted the role of new chairman.

Professor George Metakides

George Metakides received as a Fulbright scholar a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1968 and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mathematical Logic from Cornell University in 1971. He pursued an academic career in the U.S.A. at MIT, Cornell University and Rochester University until 1978, when he returned to Greece after being elected as a Full Professor to the Chair of Logic at the University of Patras.

Since 1984 he has held senior positions with responsibility for R&D policy, funding and international co-operation in European institutions, including president of the Research Group of the European Council and member of the ESPRIT (European Strategic Program of Research in Information Technology) Management Committee and of the NATO Science Committee at different times between 1984 and 1987. He established and headed the department for Basic Research and International Scientific Relations in Information Technologies at the European Commission from 1988 to 1993. He was the director of the ESPRIT Program in the European Commission’s Industry Directorate General from 1993 until its completion in 1998.

He is an active contributor to the promotion of co-operation between the European Union and other regions. He has instigated and /or contributed to the establishment of major research agreements between the EU and the USA (including the launch of the World Wide Web Consortium, W3C in1993).

He is President of the Digital enlightenment Forum (www.digitalenlightenment.org/). In addition to DEF’s Trust in the Digital world issues, his current interests and activities include Web Science (he helped establish the U.of Thessaloniki Web Science M.Sc. program in 2010) , European R&D policy and programs and international cooperation.

He is currently Professor at the University of Patras , President of the Scientific Board of the Computer Technologies Institute , Senior Advisor to the Foundation of the Hellenic World and Advisor to several international organizations.

Prof. Metakides joins WST as a trustee and full board member

Mr John Taysom

John Taysom started the Reuters Venture Capital Fund in Palo Alto in 1995 making 82 investments in internet and Web infrastructure and services. He acquired the Fund in an MBO in 2002 leading many of the investments to achieve an IPO.

He is now London-based with a seed portfolio of 30 US and UK start-ups; several of which have been acquired by such groups as Experian, Linkedin, Tesco, and BMC. Between 2011-2012 John took a Fellowship at Harvard to work on privacy issues and holds EU and US patents on a method of improving privacy online.

He chairs Performance Horizon, a fast growing UK startup; is a Governor at Hurstpierpoint College; and runs a small farm in Devon.

John joins WST as a trustee and full board member. He will advise on issues of privacy and is helping devise a curriculum in Digital Civics.

Ms. Anni Rowland-Campbell

Anni Rowland-Campbell works with the Web Science Trust and Web Science Institute to promote and develop Web Science as an inter-disciplinary way of understanding technology, culture, and society. She has had various roles in the Arts (working with the Sydney Opera House, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Australian Opera), Government (as a Ministerial Advisor and Member of numerous Government Boards), and the corporate sector (leading research into emerging Web technologies for Fuji Xerox Australia).

 

Over the past six years Anni has taught senior public sector managers through ANZSOG (the Australian and New Zealand School of Government) to integrate Web Science concepts into public administration and management. In 2013 Anni led an ANZSOG Research Project investigating the concept of “Government as a Social Machine” which linked with the SOCIAM research project, and she is currently leading a second ANSOG Research Project bringing the Web Science Institute together with the University of South Australia to create a Web Observatory for Government. In 2011 Anni helped to form “Web Science Australia, a non-profit organisation which combines research and practice in order to more effectively understand, manage, govern and develop the evolving Web.

Anni joins WST as a board member and special advisor to the board and will advise and facilitate around issues around concerning Digital Literacy.