Nigel Shadbolt is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Head of the Web and Internet Science Group, Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. With over 400 publications he has researched on topics ranging from cognitive psychology to computational neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence to the Semantic Web. He was one of the originators of the interdisciplinary field of Web Science and is a Director of the Web Science Trust and of the Web Foundation - both organisations have a common commitment to advance our understanding of the Web and promote the Web's positive impact on society. He has recently been awarded £6M funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to lead a research project on The Study and Practice of Social Machines (SOCIAM). In 2009 the Prime Minister appointed him and Sir Tim Berners-Lee as Information Advisors to transform access to Public Sector Information. This work led to the highly acclaimed data.gov.uk site that now provides a portal to over 7800 datasets. In May 2010 he was asked by the UK Coalition Government to join the Public Sector Transparency Board – this oversees Open Data releases across the public sector. In April 2011 he became Chair of the UK Government’s midata programme - which seeks to empower consumers by releasing their data back to them. In November 2011 with Sir Tim Berners Lee, he was named co-director of the Open Data Institute.
Duncan Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft research. He was previously principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, where he directed the Human Social Dynamics group. He is also an adjunct senior research fellow at Columbia University, and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute and Nuffield College, Oxford. His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals, from Nature, Science, and Physical Review Letters to the American Journal of Sociology. He is also the author of Everything is Obvious: *Once You Know The Answer (2011), Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (W.W. Norton, 2003) and Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness (Princeton University Press, 1999). He holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of New South Wales, and Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University.