An ESRC Research Programme

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Further Research on the Virtual Society?

Programme Director
Professor Steve Woolgar

Virtual Society? Programme
Sad Business School
Oxford University
59 George Street
Oxford OX1 2BE
+44 (0)1865 288667
+44 (0)1865 288668 (fax)
Consultation exercise

The central question of the Virtual Society? Programme is to what extent are the electronic technologies having a profound effect on the way we relate to each other and organise our lives. An initial tranche of 22 projects was funded by the ESRC to look into the myriad aspects of this question.

The early indications from these projects are that a number of widely held assumptions about the nature and prospects of "virtual society" need revision. (This will shortly be the subject of a report on preliminary results from the projects). We now need to determine how best to take this forward. In particular, we need to consult the views of both researchers and of potential users of the research on this. We need to know which topics and issues need researching.

The Virtual Society? Programme emphasises the importance of building strong relations between researchers and its various audiences and users. These audiences and users should play a significant role in helping shape the research. So we are especially keen to consult the views of users about ideas for research and possible forms of user-researcher collaboration.

Whether you are a researcher or a "user", please let us know:

  • what areas require further research?
  • what are the key questions to be addressed?
  • what kinds of collaboration could you envisage?
  • in what ways could your own organisation become involved in research on Virtual Society? Topics?

Please send your responses to at the earliest opportunity. And please include your full contact details.

Living in Cyberspace

In connection with this consultation exercise we held an evening discussion meeting for users and potential users of Virtual Society? research:

Living in Cyberspace. Myths and Realities
5-8pm Tuesday 26th January 1999
Goring Hotel, London

Click here for a report of this meeting.


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Contents current at 11th May 1999