|Sir Tim Berners-Lee|
Berners-Lee at the TED 2009 Conference in Long Beach, California
|Born||8 June 1955  |
London, England, UK
|Education||The Queen's College, Oxford|
|Employer||World Wide Web Consortium and University of Southampton|
|Known for||Inventing the World Wide Web Commonly known as WWW.|
|Parents||Conway Berners-Lee |
Mary Lee Woods
Holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversaw the Web's continued development. He is also the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, and is a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is a director of The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), and a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. In 2004, Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work. In April 2009, he was elected as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, based in Washington, D.C.
Early lifeTim Berners-Lee was born in London, England, on 8 June 1955, the son of Conway Berners-Lee and Mary Lee Woods. He attended Sheen Mount primary school, and then went on to Emanuel School in London, from 1969 to 1973. He studied at The Queen's College, Oxford, from 1973 to 1976, where he received a first-class degree in Physics.
Careerhypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. While there, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE.
After leaving CERN in 1980, he went to work at John Poole's Image Computer Systems, Ltd, in Bournemouth, England. The project he worked on was a real-time remote procedure call where he learned the network background. In 1984 he returned to CERN as a fellow.
In 1989, CERN was the largest Internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with the Internet: "I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and—ta-da! — the World Wide Web." He wrote his initial proposal in March 1989, and in 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau, produced a revision which was accepted by his manager, Mike Sendall. He used similar ideas to those underlying the ENQUIRE system to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first Web browser, which also functioned as an editor (WorldWideWeb, running on the NeXTSTEP operating system), and the first Web server, CERN HTTPd (short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol daemon). The first web site built was at CERN, and was first put on line on 6 August 1991.
"Info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first web page address was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, which centred on information regarding the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information. There are no screenshots of this original page and, in any case, changes were made daily to the information available on the page as the WWW project developed. You may find a later copy (1992) on the World Wide Web Consortium website." -CERNIt provided an explanation of what the World Wide Web was, and how one could use a browser and set up a web server.
In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the W3C at MIT. It comprised various companies that were willing to create standards and recommendations to improve the quality of the Web. Berners-Lee made his idea available freely, with no patent and no royalties due. The World Wide Web Consortium decided that its standards should be based on royalty-free technology, so that they could easily be adopted by anyone.
In 2001, Berners-Lee became a patron of the East Dorset Heritage Trust, having previously lived in Colehill in Wimborne, East Dorset, England.
In December 2004, he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, England, to work on his new project, the Semantic Web.
Current workGordon Brown announced Berners-Lee would work with the UK Government to help make data more open and accessible on the Web, building on the work of the Power of Information Task Force. Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt are the two key figures behind data.gov.uk, a UK Government project to open up almost all data acquired for official purposes for free re-use. Commenting on the opening up of Ordnance Survey data in April 2010 Berners-Lee said that: "The changes signal a wider cultural change in Government based on an assumption that information should be in the public domain unless there is a good reason not to - not the other way around." He went on to say "Greater openness, accountability and transparency in Government will give people greater choice and make it easier for individuals to get more directly involved in issues that matter to them."
In November 2009, Berners-Lee launched the World Wide Web Foundation in order to "Advance the Web to empower humanity by launching transformative programs that build local capacity to leverage the Web as a medium for positive change."
Berners-Lee is one of the pioneer voices in favour of Net Neutrality, and has expressed the view that ISPs should supply "connectivity with no strings attached," and should neither control nor monitor customers' browsing activities without their express consent. He advocates the idea that net neutrality is a kind of human network rights: "Threats to the Internet, such as companies or governments that interfere with or snoop on Internet traffic, compromise basic human network rights."
In a Times article in October 2009, Berners-Lee admitted that the forward slashes ("//") in a web address were actually "unnecessary". He told the newspaper that he could easily have designed URLs not to have the forward slashes. "There you go, it seemed like a good idea at the time," he said in his lighthearted apology.
- In 1994 he became one of only six members of the World Wide Web Hall of Fame of 1994.
- In 1995 he won the Kilby Foundation's "Young Innovator of the Year" Award.
- In 1999, Time Magazine named Berners-Lee one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.
- In March 2000 he was awarded an honorary degree from Open University as Doctor of the University.
- In 2003, he received the Computer History Museum's Fellow Award, for his seminal contributions to the development of the World Wide Web.
- On 15 April 2004, he was named as the first recipient of Finland's Millennium Technology Prize, for inventing the World Wide Web. The cash prize, worth one million euros (about £892,000, or US$1.3 million, as of May 2009), was awarded on 15 June, in Helsinki, Finland, by the President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen.
- He was appointed to the rank of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (the second-highest class within this Order that entails a knighthood) by Queen Elizabeth II, in the 2004 New Year's Honours List, and was formally invested on 16 July 2004.
- On 21 July 2004, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Lancaster University.
- On 27 January 2005, he was named Greatest Briton of 2004, both for his achievements and for displaying the key British characteristics of "diffidence, determination, a sharp sense of humour and adaptability", as put by David Hempleman-Adams, a panel member.
- In 2007, he was ranked Joint First, alongside Albert Hofmann, in The Telegraph's list of 100 greatest living geniuses.
- On 13 June 2007, he received the Order of Merit, becoming one of only 24 living members entitled to hold the honour, and to use the post-nominals 'O.M.' after their name. (The Order of Merit is within the personal bestowal of The Queen, and does not require recommendation by ministers or the Prime Minister)
- On 20 September 2008, he was awarded the IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, for conceiving and further developing the World Wide Web IEEE.
- On 21 April 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
- On 28 April 2009, he was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.
- On 8 June 2009, he received the Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement, at the awards ceremony held in New York City.
- In October 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- On 30 March 2011, he was one of the first three recipients of the Mikhail Gorbachev for People Who Have Changed The World, at the inuagural awards ceremony held in London. The other recipients were Evans Wadongo for solar power development and anti-poverty work in Africa, and media mogul Ted Turner.
- On 26 May 2011, Berners-Lee was awarded with an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Harvard University.