About Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 in Geneva, Switzerland. A graduate of Queen’s College at Oxford University, England, 1976, Tim built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television.

In 1989, while working at at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, Tim proposed a global hypertext project, to be known as the World Wide Web which was designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. He wrote the first World Wide Web server, “httpd”, and the first client, “WorldWideWeb” a what-you-see-is-what-you-get hypertext browser/editor which ran in the NeXTStep environment. This work was started in October 1990, and the program “WorldWideWeb” first made available within CERN in December, and on the Internet at large in the summer of 1991.

Through 1991 and 1993, Tim continued working on the design of the Web, coordinating feedback from users across the Internet. He made the initial specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML which became the standards the Web relies on today. The Web has grown an an explosive rate, from a few pages on one server in Switzerland to what has been estimated recently at more than a trillion web pages.

In 1994, Tim founded the World Wide Web Consortium, a Web standards organization which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. The Consortium has host sites located at MIT, at ERCIM in Europe, and at Keio University in Japan as well as Offices around the world.

He is currently the 3COM Founders Professor of Engineering at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he also heads the the Decentralized Information Group (DIG) research group . In December 2004 he was also named a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK. He was co-Director of the Web Science Trust, launched in 2006 as the Web Science Research Initiative, to help create the first multidisciplinary research body to examine the World Wide Web and offer the practical solutions needed to help guide its future use and design. He is a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, started in 2008 to fund and coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity. He is the author, with Mark Fischetti, of the book “Weaving the Web” on the the past present and future of the Web.

In June 2009 he began 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. The project lead the UK to take a world-leading position on government transparency through Open Data. Sir Tim is currently a member of The Public Sector Transparency Board to drive forward the UK Government’s transparency agenda.

In the more than 20 years since he released the code for the World Web Web on the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee has worked with others all over the world to refine Web technologies to make them more powerful and flexible. By designing the Web to be open and free to use, allowing anyone to write pages and create new sites and technologies, the Web has become an immense and vital store of human knowledge, news, innovation, and connection. It is crucial to how we find information, how we learn and how we live our lives. It has become an irreplaceable and living repository for our knowledge, our memories, our hopes, our potential to connect and create – a mirror of and tool for humanity itself.

Since its invention, Tim Berners-Lee has fought to keep the Web patent and royalty free, worked to make it accessible for persons with disabilities, and in all languages, scripts, and cultures. He is a vocal advocate of Net Neutrality and the Open Web, testifying before governments, speaking to companies and in interviews around the world. He has, in founding the World Wide Web Foundation, promoted the importance of bringing the Web to the more than 70% of the world which does not yet participate in the information society in a language they can understand using a device they can afford. He has advocated the Web as a network human right which is vital to innovation, democracy and a powerful tool for connecting humanity which should not be under the control of any one company or country.