The Brit List: Summer of London – Innovators

Tim Berners-Lee (Paul Clarke/Wikimedia Commons)

Tim Berners-Lee

In terms of selecting great British innovators, this choice is a no-brainer. Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. That’s right, if it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t even be reading this. And interestingly, this week marks the 20th anniversary of the first posting of a photo on the Internet. Working at CERN labs in Switzerland, Berners-Lee uploaded a photograph of a group of scientists’ secretaries and significant others who formed their own musical group called Les Horribles Cernettes.

This is the photo that Tim Berners-Lee posted 20 years ago this week – the very first image ever posted on the Internet. (Les Horribles Cernettes)

The Internet still has photos, the Cernettes are still performing to select scientific audiences – though, coincidentally, they are scheduled to give their farewell concert this week at CERN – and Berners-Lee is still fighting to improve and preserve the Internet as director of the World Wide Web Consortium and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2004.

You can watch Berners-Lee, along with the Duke of York and others, in this cute video for the Code Club, a charity that encourages children to learn how to write computer code. In the video, a panel of children is are conducting job interviews:

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