immersive digital light installation at gallery exhibition
Web Science Institute


The WSI is a hub for a world-leading, interdisciplinary, socio-technical research community, that reaches far beyond the University of Southampton.

Our colleagues are motivated to tackle the most complex problems facing society by contributing to a significant portfolio of high-quality interdisciplinary research-led activities, utilising partnerships and collaborations that cross institutional boundaries.

With a key focus on the socio-technical and governance, the WSI facilitates research activity which has real world impact at its core.

Research areas

  • We investigate how digital transformations may shape the future, and how we might best use new technologies to get the future ready. We work to better understand digital inequalities and learn how to effectively support digital inclusion, democratic innovation and civic participation that is inclusive, productive and forward looking.
  • We examine developments in AI, online interaction and data sharing, that affect how public spaces are used for work, play and learning, we want to help safeguard humanity by considering ways to ensure they remain free and equal. 
  • Our research explores the ethics and practice of online privacy, security and data trusts. We examine opportunities to better govern the use of healthcare data and to understand new forms of data and their role in health interventions. We’re working to decode the future by interrogating emerging socio-technical issues related to trust and trustworthiness of digital systems.
  • Where society and technology collide is a focus of our research.  The rapid development and increasing adoption of digital technologies impacts the society. We need to redefine our research to reflect the adaptations humanity has to make to work and live with AI. 
  • We look at society and human creativity through an interdisciplinary lens which involves science, technology, the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering and mathematics. We aim to push boundaries and create novel solutions where the future of society is imagined.