Blackett 2017: Sir Nigel Shadbolt on Towards a Science of the Web

The well-attended 2017 Blackett Memorial Lecture was held on 23 November at the IET London.

Since 1975, the OR Society has held the annual lecture in honour of Patrick, Lord Blackett. A physicist, Nobel Prize winner and one-time president of the Royal Society, Blackett was one of the pioneers of operational research (OR) during World War II, when he advocated the employment of scientists to advise on matters of strategy and tactics.

Since then, the Society has invited a prominent members of the OR community to address the membership each year. This year’s speaker was Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, and Professorial Research Fellow in Computer Science at the University of Oxford.

Sir Nigel’s fascinating presentation expanded on the “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.” Of particular interest to those in attendance was Sir Nigel’s commentary on how mapping social media photo uploads are being used to solve urban transportation and rural aid problems, among others.

Towards a Science of the Web

Sir Nigel Shadbolt FREng FRS