MacArthur Fellows Program

Timothy Berners-Lee

Computer Scientist | Class of 1998

Computer Scientist
Cambridge, Massachusetts
43 at time of award
Published July 1, 1998

About Tim's Work

Tim Berners-Lee conceived and developed the World Wide Web, arguably the most important innovation for communicating ideas since the printing press.

In addition to creating the World Wide Web (WWW) and the first web server on the Internet, Berners-Lee also designed and proposed the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) protocol for providing stable access to sources of information, which is now the industry standard. Through these and other innovations, he pioneered a low-cost, highly accessible communications method, requiring virtually no technical understanding, to locate information. Berners-Lee is working to maintain non-proprietary transmission standards and enhance the capacity of the web as a mode of free expression and global collaboration.


Since 1994, Berners-Lee has served as director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a forum for resolution of software protocol conflicts. He is a senior research scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a professor of electronics and computer science at the University of Southhampton. He proposed the global hypertext project that became the World Wide Web in 1989, wrote the first web server in 1990, and distributed it publicly on the Internet in the summer of 1991.

Berners-Lee received a B.A. (1976) from Queen’s College, University of Oxford.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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