25 years on, Tim Berners-Lee wins 'UK's Nobel prize' for siring the internet

25 years on, Tim Berners-Lee wins 'UK's Nobel prize' for siring the web
Sir Tim will share the award with four other engineers

Just the other day we were contemplating the tragic irony of the internet's inventor Tim Berners-Lee having just 125,000 Twitter followers, while Jersey Shore's trainwreck-in-chief 'Snooki' had over 6 million.

Wasn't it about time Sir Tim, who NBC's presenters admitted they "hadn't heard of" during the Olympic opening ceremony, got a little more recognition for his planet-altering creation of the world wide web?

Well it turns out the judges for the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, our new answer to the Nobel prize, felt the same way and have bestowed the Londoner with a shiny gong and a few quid for his troubles.

They have awarded Berners-Lee, and the four other engineers who worked alongside him from the late 70s onwards, a £1 million prize, which will be split between them.

Major contributions

The government-sponsored QE Prize panel wrote: "The first QE Prize for Engineering was awarded to five people who made major contributions to the development of the internet and the WWW: Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreesen each played a significant part in the development of the technology.

"Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf made seminal contributions to the protocols (or standards) that together make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee created the worldwide web (WWW) which vastly extended the use of the Internet beyond email and file transfer. Marc Andreessen wrote the Mosaic browser that was widely distributed and which made the WWW accessible to everyone. His work triggered a huge number of applications unimagined by the early network pioneers."

Sir Tim told BBC News: "The prize recognises what has been a roller-coaster ride of wonderful international collaboration. Bob and Vint's work on building the internet was re-enforced by Louis' work on datagrams and that enabled me to invent the web.

"Marc's determined and perceptive work built on these platforms a product which became widely deployed across nations and computing platforms. I am honoured to receive this accolade and humbled to share it with them."

Congratulations, guys. After all, recognition is always better received late than never. Now let's get that Twitter follower count up.


Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.