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Universities face challenges of embracing the World Wide Web

Professor Dame Wendy Hall
Professor Dame Wendy Hall

The challenges which face the World Wide Web in its next phase and the need for academics to embrace its further development will be outlined by Professor Dame Wendy Hall next week.

Professor Hall, who is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) will receive the Duncan Davies Medal and deliver the 2009 Duncan Davies Lecture on the topic of 'Research 2.0: The Age of Networks' at a Research & Development Society event at the Royal Society on Monday 12 October at 6.30pm.

The Duncan Davies Medal is awarded annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution toward making the UK the best-performing research and development environment in the world.

In her lecture Professor Hall will describe how since its inception the Web has changed the ways we communicate, collaborate, and educate and how the next generation of Web technology will increasingly facilitate interdisciplinary research by international teams to tackle the major problems faced by the world today.

‘The role of government is crucial in setting policies to create an environment in which such research can flourish but in the age of networks, universities may also have to radically change in order to facilitate such exciting and necessary developments and better train people to meet the needs of businesses in the future,’ she will say.

‘In a very short space of time we have come to live in a web-dependent society within a web-dependent world,’ she will go on to say. ‘There is a growing realization that a clear research agenda aimed at understanding the current, evolving, and potential Web is needed.’

She will illustrate this by discussing the importance of Web Science, the new research discipline which embraces the study of these phenomena and she will explore the opportunities and challenges posed by the increasing need for interdisciplinary research undertaken by international teams and the role that universities, governments and learned societies can play to facilitate such exciting and necessary developments.

The 2009 Duncan Davies lecture on the topic of 'Research 2.0: The Age of Networks' will take place at the Royal Society on Monday 12 October at 6.30pm at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG.

For further information contact: Joyce Lewis; tel.023 8059 5453.

Posted by Joyce Lewis on 09 Oct 2009.