The New York Times reports that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southampton in Britain plan to announce a joint research program in web science. Leading the program is Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web’s basic software. Educated at Oxford, Berners-Lee is a professor at the University of Southampton, director of the World Wide Web Consortium, and a senior researcher at M.I.T. According to researchers, this new field of study has both social and engineering dimensions. Web science would extend past traditional computer science and delve into the emerging research in social networks and the social science that is being used to study how people use the web. In addition, the new field would shift the focus of study from how a singular computer works to how a decentralized network operates. While the web science program is primarily an academic endeavor, corporate technology executives and computer scientists believe that it could greatly influence web-based business… (Note: This site requires free registration.)