Tim Bernhards-Lee, inventor of the internet at CERN in 1989 has been sharing his vision of how it could help the world in the future. He hopes to do this through the launch of http://www.webfoundation.org/. Reading the website, I am a bit bemused as to what the aim of the organisation is, as are a number of commenters on Molly E. Holzschlag's blog.
The hot air about the LHC at CERN gave Tim the perfect example to tell us that "The internet needs a way to help people separate rumour from real science" as described in a BBC article by Pallab Gosh. From Steven Clark's post I think I'm right in saying that Bernhards-Lee proposes making the web searchable by correctness rather than relevance. The plan might work, unfortunately the Web Foundation site doesn't get the message across effectively.
I think that Bernhard Lee's mistake is to think of those talking about science as being different to those talking about any other product or event. Bit of a mouthful I know, but I would prefer if he said:
"Science is fun, and it's great when people talk about it. It is the responsibility of the scientist to make their work so easy to understand and remarkable that the space of malicious rumours is reduced. When rumours do occur the scientist can reach out and educate the community, speaking a language they understand"
Would it not be great if the creators of this viral video got a guided tour of the CERN facility for their troubles?
No doubt there is some room for an internet policeman, but if NASA can win the marketing war, there is no reason why MMR vaccines, particle accelerators or NGOs can't. Some of the large funds for this project could be diverted into philanthropic marketing projects perhaps.
You can follow the Web Foundation on twitter @webfoundation