Timothy Berners-Lee, the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Berners-Lee is also director of the World Wide Web Consortium.
The distinction is yet another of the many laurels accumulated by web-pioneer Berners-Lee. He is credited with "inventing" the world wide web for his early work on hypertext and client/server communication and is considered the "father" of the Semantic Web. Berners-Lee received the IEEE Medal of Honor in 2008, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, received the first Millennium Prize from Finland also in 2004, and received the Computer History Museum's Fellow Award in 2003.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.
Along with Berners-Lee, the National Academy of Sciences announced the election of 72 new members and 17 other foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Other notables elected to the Academy this year include Thomas Hughes, Jr., the Mathematics Chair III at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) and professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at the University of Texas, Austin; John E. Hopcroft, professor in the computer science department at Cornell University in New York; and Christos Papadimitriou, the C. Lester Hogan Professor in the computer science division at the University of California at Berkeley.
The recent election was held during the business session of the 146th annual meeting of the Academy. Those elected this year bring the total number of active members to 2,150. Berners-Lee was elected as a foreign associate. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States (Berners-Lee is British). Today's election brings the total number of foreign associates to 404.