Vague but exciting…CERN celebrates 20 years of the Web

Twenty years ago work started on something that would change the world forever. It would change the way we work, the way we communicate and the way we make our voices heard. On 13 March CERN will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the birth of the World Wide Web.

Tim Berners-Lee with Nicola Pellow, next to the NeXT computer.

In March 1989 here at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal for a new information management system to his boss, Mike Sendall. ‘Vague, but exciting’, were the words that Sendall wrote on the proposal, allowing Berners-Lee to continue with the project, but unaware that it would evolve into one of the most important communication tools ever created.

Tim Berners-Lee used a NeXT computer at CERN to create the first web server running a single website – Since then the World Wide Web has grown into the incredible phenomenon that we know today, a web of more than 60 billion pages, and hundreds of millions of users.

The 20th anniversary celebration will be held in the Globe from 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm, with talks on the history of the web, including by Robert Cailliau, who worked with Tim Berners-Lee, and Ben Segal, who was part of the computing management team at CERN at that time.

Tim Berners-Lee will speak about the history and future of the Web, which will be followed by a discussion panel on the same topic, featuring Chris Bizer, Stephane Boyera, and Dan Brickley. The NeXT computer that hosted the first Web server will also be on display.

The event will be by invitation only, but will be webcast online and at several of CERN’s auditoria:

  • AB Auditorium Meyrin
  • AB Auditorium Prévessin
  • Main Auditorium
  • Council Chamber
  • AT Auditorium
  • Restaurant 2