Technology with attitude

Tim Berners-Lee awarded the British Order of Merit

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Tim Berners-Lee, the founding father of the World Wide Web, the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees its continued development, has been rewarded the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth.

The Order of Merit is one of the most prestigious honors of the British Empire. Unlike most honors, which are driven by government recommendation, the Order of Merit recipients are chosen by the monarch. Generally, this award is given to people who have made remarkable contributions in arts, sciences and literature.

“Awards such as this are for public service, a service which in this case has been largely carried out by the W3C. All those involved in Consortium activity should feel recognized by this acknowledgment of the importance of W3C’s work,” said Berners-Lee in a statement.

Berners-Lee conceived the idea for the World Wide Web. He created the hypertext program to format documents and data for users to browse, link and organize pages on the Internet.

The Order is restricted to just 24 living members, who are entitled to use the initials OM after their name. Berners-Lee joins Margaret Thatcher, the Duke of Edinburgh, David Attenborough and playwright Tom Stoppard.

Past recipients have included Mother Teresa, Sir Winston Churchill and Florence Nightingale.

This article originally appeared in on June 16, 2007.