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Web Science Institute

Three Southampton Professors listed in the ‘100 most important people in British Science’

Published: 7 October 2010

Three Professors from the University of Southampton feature in the list of ‘100 most important figures in British Science’ published in today’s (Thursday 7 October) Times newspaper.

Web science innovator Professor Dame Wendy Hall, featured at no 26, is the fourth highest placed woman in the Top 100 compiled by Eureka, The Times' monthly science magazine. Dame Wendy is also listed as one of the Top 5 Science Couples with her husband Peter Chandler, who she met at the University nearly 30 years ago. 

Dame Wendy said: "I'm just thrilled to be in such an eminent list. It is great to have the spotlight put on science in this way. It's wonderful to see our new Faculty's achievements highlighted so prominently in a list of the best in British science, and a great tribute to the support for research and scientific endeavour at the University of Southampton."

Professor Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and Professor of Computer Science at the University is ranked at number 52. 

The third Southampton professor to appear in the Top 100 at number 56 is Professor David Payne, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, who has carried out world-leading research at the University of Southampton for over 40 years.

Professor Payne said: "I am delighted with this accolade. It is stunning recognition of the merits of sustained and generous funding of science from both the University of Southampton and from EPSRC over several decades. It has paid off and will continue to do so with two major new projects just awarded in internet technologies." 

All three Southampton professors in the list are members of the new Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences, of which Dame Wendy is Dean.

The Eureka list aims to identify the most important and interesting people in British science, ‘those pushing back the boundaries of scientific understanding, transforming our lives through innovation and changing our attitudes to science, each other and the world', writes The Times Editor, James Harding.

Notes for editors

  1. Professor Dame Wendy Hall
    Professor Dame Wendy Hall, featured at no. 26, is one of only five women in the top 30. Eureka says of her: ‘When in 1977 Wendy Hall went for a job interview after completing her PhD, she was turned down because she was a woman. Big mistake. A pioneer of hypermedia and computer science, she has since published 414 papers, sat on the Council for Science and Technology and been appointed a dame. [She] has also helped to set up the Web Science Trust, which looks at the impact of the internet. She continues to fight for women in science.'

    Professor Tim Berners-Lee
    Professor Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, was appointed a Professor of Computer Science in ECS in 2004. He is also Professor of Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eureka says of him: ‘The creation of an early forebear of the World Wide Web ...may have been Sir Tim Berners-Lee's first important achievement, but his insistence that such a system should be free and open to all was revolutionary.' Both Sir Tim and Dame Wendy are Founder Directors of the Web Science Trust.

    Professor David Payne
    Professor David Payne, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, has carried out world-leading research at the University of Southampton for over 40 years. Eureka says: ‘As a pioneer in the field of optic fibres, he is partly responsible for the internet's structure on a global scale. Professor Payne's research on the amplification of light revolutionised modern telecommunications and enabled information to flow across the world. Today his work is critical in improving broadband speed.'

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