Scientists getting their heads around the largest information machine mankind ever made.
“During the past 20 years, humans have built the largest information fabric in history. The World Wide Web has been transformational. People shop, date, trade and communicate with one another using it. Although most people are not formally trained in its use, yet it has assumed a central role in their lives. Scientists and researchers cannot imagine their work without it. Governments interface to their citizens using it. Media are seeing the nature of their industry change because of it. Travel, leisure, health, banking, any sector one can think of are changed by what we have created. The Web is now ubiquitous, and like all things that become commonplace, we take it for granted. This is true for the great majority of users. Until recently, it was true for researchers too. Over the past few years, there has been a growing recognition that the ecosystem that is the Web needs to be treated as an important and coherent area of study—this is Web science.”
(Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, James A. Hendler and William H. Dutton ~ Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society)