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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

WSI Distinguished Lecture with Bill Thompson

Published: 19 February 2016
Bill Thompson
Bill Thompson

The Web Science Institute was delighted to host a Distinguished Lecture with Bill Thompson at the University of Southampton on Wednesday 10 February 2016.

The Open Web and Its Enemies

"In the age of electronics an open society, one in which questions can be asked, where critical thinking is not just permitted but encouraged and where investigation rather than ideology is used to seek out the truth about the world — the open society according to Karl Popper  — has also to be an open data society because reusable, structured data has become the main machine for doing the heavy lifting of moving knowledge around, just as books move ideas around.

The open Web is the most visible expression of that open data society, but it is increasingly undermined by the efforts of government on one side and commercial interests on the other, squeezing the public space occupied by civil society. Web science, grounded in the study of the open network, offers an opportunity both to study the impact of this shift and to propose countermeasures. In his talk Bill Thompson will argue that we can use the tools of Web science to design and build a better and more resilient Web — but that we must move quickly or there will be nothing left to save."

Bill Thompson

About the Speaker

Bill Thompson, BBC, Bill Thompson is a journalist, writer and commentator, working with the BBC to make its archive more accessible, and with a range of arts and cultural organisations to help them think about the impact of digital technology on their practice.

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