Picture of Robert CailliauRobert Cailliau

Co-developer of the World Wide Web

Computer Scientist

Robert joined CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, in 1974. There he first worked on computer-controls of particle accelerators. When Robert became head of Office Computing Systems for CERN he began considering a hypertext system to link all CERN documentation over networks. In 1989 he teamed up with Tim Berners-Lee to produce the foundations for what became WWW at the end of 1990.

In 1993 Robert started the first www-based project funded by the European Commission together with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. He was instrumental in making CERN putting the Web technologies into the public domain (April 1993). He organised the First International WWW Conference for May 1994, a continuing series over which he presided for many years. He started the "Web for Schools" project within the European Union (1994).

During 1994-1997 he helped CERN and INRIA to set up the Web Consortium that overlooks the WWW standards, to transfer WWW technologies from CERN to the Consortium.

Robert has been awarded two Ph.D. Hon., the ACM Software System Award, the Plantin Prize (City of Antwerp), the Medal of Recognition of the City of Geneva, and is Commander in the Order of King Leopold I of Belgium.

He is from Belgium and holds a degree of Mechanical and Electrotechnical Engineering (University Ghent) and a Master of Science degree (University of Michigan).



Wednesday, November 5th: 9.15 - 10.00

What We Want

Starting from a (very) short history of the creation of WWW in 1990, the presentation will highlight missed opportunities, good and bad sides of the technology, and lessons to be learned. It will also address some of the problems we face today and some of the problems likely to come up in the near future. These will concern not just a few technical issues, but mainly social, economic and ethical challenges.