Tim Berners-Lee is one of the world’s most well known and influential researchers. The British computer scientist, who invited the world wide web, epitomizes the power of research and how it can change the world in a varied and unpredictable manner.
After initially working as an engineer upon graduation from Oxford University, he then went on to work at the CERN research facility in Geneva. It was here that his curiosity for the world of hyper-text (a computer coding system or technological language) was spiked.
While working at CERN he built a prototype called the Enquirer, which was an early version of a machine that could share information using hyper-text. After further study Berners-Lee then went on to create the first website in France in 1991. His work has since moved onto looking at issues of freedom and access to information. He is a strong supporter of everybody having access to the internet as a form of education.
There are several facets to the work and research of Berners-Lee that make his work so intriguing from moral and philosophical prospective. Like many researchers, his motivations for conducting the research were in no way financial. He claimed no rights over the invention and declared that it was available for all; a sentiment which remains to this day.
A second trope that is evident in the work of Berners-Lee is the unintended extent of what his research would achieve. Though he considered that using hyper text to display information on websites would be beneficial, nobody could foresee the extent to which the discovery would change the world. It has altered the way in which we work, the way that we communicate, shop and travel. In fact, there is very little which hasn’t been effected by the scientific work of this research giant, including his new pursuit to empower humanity through the internet.