ReadWriteWeb writes "MIT and the University of Southampton in Britain have announced an initiative called Web Science. Tim Berners-Lee is leading the program, which is essentially about formalizing a new kind of scientific discipline. The goal is to understand the deeper structure of the social Web and how people are using it. But as well as studying the Web, they also hope to shape the future of the Web. In the conference call this morning, Tim Berners-Lee spoke about how Web Science will help build 'a new Web, a better Web, building things on top of the Web infrastructure.' He said they'll be 'developing new ways of analyzing things and we'll be building systems which have completely new properties'. But he made a point of saying that because the Web is about people, social aspects will be a very important part of it."