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The University of Southampton

Sir Tim Berners-Lee appointed member of the Order of Merit

Published: 22 June 2007

Sir Tim Berners-Lee FRS, Professor of Computer Science in the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science, has been appointed a member of the Order of Merit (OM) by Her Majesty the Queen.

Sir Tim, the inventor of the World Wide Web, is Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, an open forum of companies and organizations with the mission to lead the Web to its full potential. He is also Senior Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Order of Merit, founded by 1902 by King Edward VII, is a special mark of honour conferred by the Sovereign on individuals of exceptional distinction in the arts, learning, sciences and other areas. Appointments to the Order are in the Sovereign's personal gift and ministerial advice is not required. The Order is restricted to 24 members as well as additional foreign recipients.

Past British holders of the Order have included: Florence Nightingale and Lord Lister (medicine); artists Augustus John and Graham Sutherland; sculptor Henry Moore; composers Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten; writers Thomas Hardy, James Barrie, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, Graham Greene and Ted Hughes; and former Prime Ministers Sir Winston Churchill and Earl Attlee.

With a background of system design in real-time communications and text processing software development, in 1989 Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing, while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. He wrote the first web client (browser-editor) and server in 1990.

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