News / Science & Technology

New Award Could Become Nobel for Engineering

New Award Could Become Nobel for Engineeringi
X
June 28, 2013 4:08 PM
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has launched a global prize for engineering that some people involved hope will become the engineering equivalent of the Nobel Prize for scientific achievement. The queen presented the first award to five men who invented the Internet and developed the ways one third of the world’s population uses it. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
New Award Could Become Nobel for Engineering
Al Pessin
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has launched a global prize for engineering that some people involved hope will become the engineering equivalent of the Nobel Prize for scientific achievement. The queen presented the first award to five men who invented the Internet and developed the ways one third of the world’s population uses it.

At Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth presented her first ever Prize for Engineering, including one million British pounds, to Americans Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf, and Frenchman Louis Pouzin for inventing the Internet’s basic protocols.  They shared the award with Britain’s Tim Berners-Lee, who created the Worldwide Web and American Marc Andreesen, who invented the first web browsing software.

The morning after they received the award, three of the winners spoke to hundreds of students from London schools, many of whom carry devices more powerful than the computers the men used to develop the Internet.  

They were joined by students in Swaziland who participated, of course, through the Internet.

Award winner Robert Kahn said the Internet is so much a part of people’s lives, they don’t really think about it.

“A lot of people don’t really know exactly what the Internet is.  To me, it’s all about the protocols for making things work together - to link together networks, computers, application programs - which a lot of people didn’t think was a particularly good idea when we first started out on it.  But it’s turned out to be pretty impactful worldwide,” Kahn said.

Kahn’s co-winner and partner in developing the TCP/IP protocol that makes Internet traffic possible is Vinton Cerf, now a vice president of Google. He wore a Google Glass Internet micro-computer.

“The significance is not the winning.  The significance is the existence of the prize at all, especially with Her Majesty’s name attached to it.  It elevates engineering to the same level of visibility and recognition as the Nobel Prizes,” Cerf said.

Both men say their satisfaction comes from the broad use of the Internet and the fact that their basic technical architecture still underpins it.  

But they acknowledge the privacy and security issues the Internet has created, highlighted most recently by revelations about U.S. government surveillance programs designed to fight terrorism.

“We are still in the middle of this rapid evolution of the Internet and its applications.  And we are going to have to learn, as a society, which things are acceptable and which things are not, what we should prohibit, and what things we should punish people for doing,” Cerf said.

“Those are not tensions that are just easily resolved - check the box and proceed this way or that way.  They require constant attention, especially in democratic societies,” Kahn said.

Kahn says technologies always have had what he calls “plusses and minuses,” and the Internet is no different.  But he also says that even after 40 years, there is no foreseeable end to the demand for the technology he and his co-winners developed.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, JPN
June 29, 2013 7:11 PM
Next winner should be those who developed container ships.
They have changed world logistic. We can not get any good cheap things from around the world without container ships.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 28, 2013 8:02 PM
Yes, I do not really know exactly what the inernet is. But I can not do without the internet even a day. Congratulations for five winners of this "novel" prize for distinguished engineers.


by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
June 28, 2013 6:00 PM
Finally, a recognition of the inventors of the internet. Congratulations to Robert Khan and Vincent Serf from the US and Louis Pouzin of France.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid