Berners-Lee tops influential technology poll

The 'father' of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee was today revealed as the most influential person in technology from the last 150 years, following a vote by a panel comprised of experts, including academics, journalists and independent third parties.

Berners-Lee won out because of his impact on society and ground-breaking technology, according to Intel who organised the panel event to ascertain the 45 most influential individuals in technology.

He was followed at two and three by Sergey Brin and Larry Page respectively, the co-founders of Google. Guglielmo Marconi, inventor if the radiotelegraph system and Jack Kilby, the man behind the integrated circuit and calculator were awarded fourth and fifth place respectively in the roll call of honours.

"It was a very difficult task to rate so many excellent candidates and there was a very lively debate amongst the panel," said chair of the judging event, Professor Clive Holtham of Cass Business School.

"I think all the judges had a personal favourite who they wanted to see higher up the list. I was backing Douglas Englebart, whose groundbreaking inventions influenced the whole of office automation, although Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a worthy winner."

The results of the poll showed that computing and the internet are now the driving forces behind industry success, with the top three names being involved with web-based technologies and the founders of Intel (Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, at number six and Robert Noyce, also co-founder of Intel, at number eight) and IBM's Don Estridge, who led development of the IBM computer, making the top 10.

"It's fitting that the people who have influenced the internet turn up in the top three of the list," Sean Maloney, Intel's executive vice president. "This emphasises the way the world is heading and that the internet is our industry's demand driver."

The judging panel started off with a shortlist of 69 individuals, but Richard Branson, Charles Dunstone and Trevor Bayliss were given the chop by the panel in favour of Dennis Ritchie (who created the C programming language), Don Estridge and Jack Kilby (inventor of the microchip). Douglas Engelbart, who created the computer mouse, was also added to the shortlist, bringing the list of individuals to be judged to a total of 70.

Judges cast their votes on a scale of one to 10 using criteria of innovation, ground-breaking technology, industry success, impact on society and influence.

The 45 most influential people in technology

1.Tim Berners-Lee

2.Sergey Brin

3.Larry Page

4.Guglielmo Marconi

5.Jack Kilby

6.Gordon Moore

7.Alan Turing

8.Robert Noyce

9.William Shockley

10.Don Estridge

11.Doug Engelbert

12.Robert Metcalfe

13.Vint Cerf

14.Steve Jobs

15.Andrew Grove

16.Seymour Cray

17.Pierre Omidyar

18.Shawn Fanning

19.Dennis Ritchie

20.Ted Hoff

21.Linus Torvalds

22.Shuji Nakamura

23.Dave Packard

24.Jean Hoerni

25.William Hewlett

26.John Logie Baird

27.George Boole

28.Martin Cooper

29.John Pinkerton

30.Grace Hopper

31.Bill Gates

32.Herman Hollerith

33.Thomas Watson

34.Jeff Bezos

35.Meg Whitman

36.Ada Lovelace

37.Nolan Bushnell

38.Claude Shannon

39.Charles Babbage

40.John Chambers

41.Philo Farnsworth

42.Steve Wozniak

43.Larry Ellison

44.Michael Dell

45.Maurice Wilkes