USI invited to CERN to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee interviewed by Bruno Giussani, Global Curator of TED (image: CERN)
Tim Berners-Lee interviewed by Bruno Giussani, Global Curator of TED (image: CERN)
A view of the event at the CERN in Geneva (image: CERN)
A view of the event at the CERN in Geneva (image: CERN)
Tim Berners-Lee (image: CERN)
Tim Berners-Lee (image: CERN)
The first World Wide server, installed by CERN on a NeXTcube computer (image: Wikimedia)
The first World Wide server, installed by CERN on a NeXTcube computer (image: Wikimedia)

Institutional Communication Service

15 March 2019

On 12 March, Prof. Gabriele Balbi and Dr. Paolo Bory of the USI Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG) were invited to take part in the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web at the CERN in Geneva, where the WWW was created, tested and spread around the globe. The famous project proposal that Tim Berners-Lee submitted to the management of CERN was in fact completed in March 1989, for the purpose of networking the various documents in the Geneva research center. It was eventually realized in 1991, released in the public domain in 1993, and finally developed to be used today by more than half of the world population, the WWW is one of the most disruptive and innovative technologies of digitisation.

In Geneva, the CERN organized the celebrations of the World Wide Web by calling together a few of the key players of that season, namely the creator Tim Berners-Lee and his closest collaborator Robert Cailliau. The result was a passionate discussion about the early days of the Web, its current state, and the threat to the privacy of users perpetrated by private businesses that have established dominant positions - and are now the rulers of the WWW. Such is the concern that Tim Berners-Lee proposed to rethink the Web and to "defend" its freedom and independence through political, technical and cultural actions.

The IMeG research group that took part in the event, which includes Dr. Eleonora Benecchi, has been studying for years the narratives that emerged at the origin of the Web. In 2016, the group published a research article in the prestigious journal New Media and Society. Now, with new elements and sources available, the research teams is seeking to rewrite the "official" history of the Web thirty years after its birth.

The comments (in Italian) of Prof. Balbi given on the evening news of RSI are viewable at: www.rsi.ch/play/tv/telegiornale/video/12-03-2019-web-lospite-del-tg?id=11530105

The full programme of the event at CERN is available at: https://web30.web.cern.ch

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