European Hub for Internet and Society Research
The European members of the Global Network of Centers for Internet and Society (NoC) have launched the European Hub to support scientific discussion and cooperation between internet researchers in Europe. During a roundtable in Berlin in October at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), internet researchers from Europe decided to cooperate more closely on research projects, science transfer and events. The representatives of the European member research institutes within the NoC discussed, among other things, how to strengthen European cooperation and the international visibility of European internet research. The European Hub for Internet and Society Research is being created as a regional chapter of the NoC that congregates members of the Network, as foreseen in the NoC Roadmap 2017/18.
“European research traditions and theories will be able to make an even bigger contribution to our understanding of the digital society. We at HIIG are pleased to support this process”, says Wolfgang Schulz, director of HIIG.
“The creation of the EU Hub is an important step to foster collaboration in the regional level among NoC members. It will allow the development of new opportunities to carry out the research agenda defined by the NoC Roadmap 2017/18,” say Carlos Affonso Souza, director of ITS Rio (currently leading the NoC Executive Committee).
Creating a common European research agenda
The newly launched European Hub’s aim is to coordinate internet research centers in the whole of Europe in order to strengthen European internet research on an international level. European cooperation on internet and society research is one of the hub’s key concerns, as is the opportunity to leverage synergies between research projects.
At the heart of the hub’s work is independent and interdisciplinary research about the opportunities and challenges of digital technology, innovation and European society. The first steps for the newly founded European Hub will be to create a common European research agenda, regional workshops and conferences as well as developing guidelines and ethical standards for internet research.
The first common research focus will be the topic of “artificial intelligence”. Some first steps have already been taken to facilitate exchange between outstanding researchers on the effects of “artificial intelligence” on human rights: HIIG and the Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research (HBI) organised the workshop Algorithmic Decision Making and its Human Rights Implications. Algorithms directly influence human behaviour both online and offline. The workshop showed – with examples ranging from expert systems in job agencies to the digital arms race – the importance of different disciplines working together to research those phenomena. Here, the focus should not only be on technology but also on the political, social and economic contexts. The narratives and terms we use to understand the application of “artificial intelligence” are of growing importance for exchange between different disciplines.
The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) will be coordinating and leading the hub for the first two years. Further members of the European Hub are so far (in alphabetical order):
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin
Center for Advanced Research in Information and Communication Technologies & Society (ICT&S Center), University of Salzburg
Center for Information Technology, Society, and Law (ITSL), University of Zurich
Center for Internet Studies and Digital Life (University of Navarra, Spain)
Center for Media, Data and Society at the School of Public Policy of Central European University
Digital Center, Centrum Cyfrowe, Warsaw
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of Southampton
Haifa Center for Law and Technology, University of Haifa
Hans-Bredow-Institut for Media Research, University of Hamburg
Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre
Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Internet et Société, Paris (IIRIS)
Institute for Information Law (IVIR)
Institute for Technology and Society, Rio de Janeiro
Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam
Internet Policy project group (POLI) at Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)
KU Leuven Centre for IT and IP KU Leuven
Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique
Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ, University of Zurich
Nexa Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino
Nordic Centre for Internet and Society, Norwegian Business School BI
Oxford Internet Institute
The New Research on Digital Societies (NeRDS group)
Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society, Tilburg University
If you would like to join the European Hub please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current lead of the European Hub:
Wolfgang Schulz, Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft (HIIG)
Interested in the work of the European Hub for Internet and Society Research? Please contact us here:
European Hub for Internet and Society Research
c/o Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft gGmbH
Französische Straße 9