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UIC News Tips
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff

October 4, 2001 Contact: Anne Dybek (312) 996-8279; adybek@uic.edu


Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago communications professor, has been elected to a second term as president of the Association of Internet Researchers. Jones, whose research examines the cultural effects of the Internet and its impact on society, will head the association's upcoming conference Oct. 10 - 14 at the University of Minnesota.

"The Internet's rapid growth and connections to almost every aspect of 21st-century life have created a strong interest in understanding the social side of cyberspace," said Jones, whose pioneering studies of the Internet's social consequences led, in part, to formation of the field of Internet studies.

"Speculation and forecasting about online life abound," said Jones. "But what is really needed to help us understand how to live in our wired world is research that is international, collaborative, and from a range of disciplines. It is my goal to see that the Association of Internet Researchers continues to be the leading scholarly organization helping us to achieve that understanding."

Unlike other associations and conferences that deal with the technical aspects of the Internet, the Association of Internet Researchers focuses on the social, political and ethical results of Internet-based research. Topics at the conference will include the phenomenon of online personal relationships, the legitimacy of Web-based surveys, discussions of policies about privacy and surveillance, and whether or not researchers need to identify themselves when they observe behavior in chat rooms.

Until recently, most social research about the Internet has been spread out across fields that rarely intersect so that researchers were unaware of work being done in other fields, Jones said.

The association's 2001 conference is expected to draw 500 participants from around the world and bring together prominent researchers, journalists, technologists and students from multiple disciplines.

- UIC -

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