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Berners-Lee finally gets credit due to him

A fellowship of the Royal Society

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Tim Berners-Lee has finally been awarded the credit due to him by receiving a fellowship of the Royal Society - the UK's highest scientific honour.

It may seem a natural step considering Berners-Lee was the main man behind the World Wide Web by inventing its address system, but the decision to make him a fellow of the UK most exclusive scientific club has been seen as a significant one.

The Royal Society has been heavily criticised in the past for being out of touch and behaving like a self-serving elite. But the inclusion of Berners-Lee as well as the biologist Richard Dawkins, famous for his book The Selfish Gene, demonstrates that the society is beginning to give credit to those that have influence beyond the high circles of science.

Until this year - with the arrival of a new president, Sir Robert May - Berners-Lee had been given only a medal of the Royal Society and had never been put forward for the fellowship.

Berners-Lee has been awarded the fellowship, among 42 others, as his work has "revolutionised communication via the Internet, enabling universal access to information place on the Web, and has had a profound economic impact".

Berners-Lee, currently at MIT, will now join the approximate 1300 fellows at the 360-year-old institution. Hats off. ®

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