The British scientist who invented the World Wide Web said Wednesday that online-social systems could change the way science and even democratic...

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TROY, N.Y. — The British scientist who invented the World Wide Web said Wednesday that online-social systems could change the way science and even democratic government is conducted.

Tim Berners-Lee made the comments as a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute symposium launched an academic center devoted to Web science called the Tetherless World Research Constellation.

In a keynote address, Berners-Lee sketched out a vision of the Web with more computing power, more pages and higher bandwidth that will be displayed on more portable devices with better displays.

He said social systems developed on the Web could help people sort out the basic problems of what they believe (science) and what they do (government).

“The good news is we could find new forms of democracy, new ways of thinking about science that will be much more efficient,” Berners-Lee said, quickly adding there’s no guarantee those ways would work well.

He proposed the Web in 1989 and created the first browser a year later.

Now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is organizing work on the “Semantic Web,” an evolution of the current system that will make information understandable by machines as well as humans.