Tim is one of the 20th century’s most important intellects, his influence has been overwhelmingly powerful and far-reaching. He is an English computer scientist, MIT professor and the inventor of the World Wide Web. He leads the World Wide Web Consortium, overseeing the Web’s standards and development.
Tim Berners-Lee (Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA) studied at The Queen’s College, Oxford, from 1973 to 1976, where he received a first-class degree in Physics.
While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, 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 which gave him experience in computer networking.
In 1989, CERN was the largest Internet node in Europe, and Berners-Lee saw an opportunity to join hypertext with the Internet. He wrote his initial proposal in March 1989, and in 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau (with whom he shared the 1995 ACM Software System Award), 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.
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.
In 1999, Time Magazine named Berners-Lee one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century.
In 2001, Berners-Lee became a patron of the East Dorset Heritage Trust, having previously lived in Colehill in Wimborne, East Dorset, England.
On 15 April 2004, he was named as the first recipient of Finland’s Millennium Technology Prize, for inventing the World Wide Web. Later that year he accepted a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, England, to work on the Semantic Web.
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.
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,”.
In 2011, he was inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems’ AI’s Hall of Fame for the “significant contributions to the field of AI and intelligent systems”.
In 2012, Berners-Lee was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.
One of the greatest innovators of our time, Sir Tim’s highly informative presentations are thought provoking and inspiring.