As a little departure from the general topic of ‘the joy to be gained from entering and winning awards’, we thought we’d take a look at some high-profile and high-achieving award winners throughout recent history. Now, we realise we have no detail on the nature of the entry process they endured, or indeed on the contents of their response to the qualifying questions, but we feel that the nature of their achievements may speak volumes as to why they won. The first winner we’ve chosen to highlight is Sir Tim Berners-Lee; a name which may already be familiar to some.
Early last year Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, won the ACM Turing Award. This award recognised the 61-year-old professor’s world-changing contribution and pocketed him a cool $1 million (not a huge prize if you compare it to the enormity of his invention).
The Turing Award – also known as the “Nobel Prize for Computing” – is a huge honour in IT circles, but it’s not the only accolade which Berners-Lee has received. In 2002 he was presented with the Albert Medal; a 150-year-old award with previous winners including no less than Louis Pasteur and Alexander Graham Bell. More observant readers may also have noticed that he is ‘Sir’ Berners Lee, a result of his being promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004. Oh, and he was appointed to the Order of Merit three years later by Her Majesty the Queen, a rare honour which is independently decided by the Queen, without the need for permission from parliament.
It may well be that up to this point you hadn’t heard of Berners-Lee (even though you believed somewhere – in the back of your mind – you know who invented the internet) but we urge you to have a sneaky peak at his Wikipedia page when you have a spare five minutes. The list of awards he has won is impressive and takes him somewhere outside of the sphere of us mortal humans! And for the younger readers out there who may be thinking that he’s been ‘at it’ for a very, very long time (after all, isn’t the internet about 100 years old??), he actually only launched the world’s very first web page in August 1991. That may seem like a long time ago, but we were already working, so it was actually quite a recent thing…