Google to fund new research into how the Internet affects society

Google to fund new research into how the Internet affects society

Google has today announced details of a new academic initiative looking at how the Internet interfaces with society.

To be run from Berlin, three German institutions have come on board as partners: The Humboldt University, the University of the Arts and the Social Science Research Center Berlin. The project will study a variety of Internet-related issues, specifically: Internet and constitutional law; Internet governance and policy; Internet-based innovation and the economy, and Media governance.

Set to launch in October this year with an international symposium, the Institute for Internet and Society is far from Google’s first venture into academic funding. Last year, for example, it announced it was putting $5.7m into “four extremely important areas, both to Google and to society.”

So, why is Google funding this? In the Institute’s FAQ, it states that “Web-based innovations cause a variety of social, economic and political transformations. These demand interdisciplinary research carried out in a specialized center of excellence.”

In its own take on today’s announcement, Humboldt University said that Google was funding the Institute to the tune of €4.5m over the next three years.

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