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World Wide Web

connecting the planet London,

People gathered around a computer demonstration by Tim Berners-Lee.
Tim Berners-Lee demonstrates the World Wide Web to delegates at the Hypertext 1991 conference in San Antonio, Texas. CERN image archive.

The World Wide Web, which has transformed the way we access information and communicate with one another, was born when scientists sought more efficient ways to share data. Tim Berners-Lee (born 1955), an engineer and computer scientist from London, and Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau (born 1947) launched a project at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research near Geneva, to create a system of interlinked - ‘hypertext’ - documents that could be accessed via global computer networks.

Berners-Lee had initially described a system of linking information through hyperlinks in a paper called ‘ENQUIRE’ in 1989. His boss at CERN scribbled ‘vague but exciting’ on the top of the paper. Berners-Lee then hosted the first web page in December 1990 and, although it took some time for the world to realise its relevance, the World Wide Web and simple access to the internet was born.

On 27 July 2012, Tim Berners-Lee was honoured as the ‘inventor of the World Wide Web’ at the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games.

Science Museum

Key Individuals
Tim Berners-Lee,