The inventor of the internet is coming to Fife for 2019 lecture

Sir Tim Berners-Lee (Pic: Simon Dewhirst)
Sir Tim Berners-Lee (Pic: Simon Dewhirst)

The man who invented the internet will deliver the 2019 Adam Smith Lecture.

And Sir Tim Berners Lee will be joined on stage by Rosemary Leith, with whom he founded the World Wide Web Foundation.

The couple will share the honour at this year’s Festival of Ideas, which runs at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy over the weekend of March 15 and 16.

Their lecture will mark the 30th anniversary of the invention of the web, which has transformed every aspect of society.

Sir Tim and Rosemary follow in a long line of prestigious guests who have given the lecture over the past four decades.

They include Kofi Annan, former UN General Secretary; Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve; renowned economists J. K. Galbraith and Amartya Sen, former World Bank president James Wolfenson and Bank of England governor Mervyn King.

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Last year the honour fell to broadcaster and political campaigner Sandi Toksvig whose lecture was a huge hit with the audience.

She also vowed to return and stage a fundraising concert in aid of the Cottage Centre, which will again be among the beneficiaries of a collection during the 2019 event.

Sir Tim is a graduate of Queen’s College at Oxford University where he built his first computer using a processor, a soldering iron and an old television set! In 1989, he created what we know now as the internet by developing a global hypertext project.

A decade ago he launched the World Wide Web Foundation with Rosemary Leith, an internet and banking entrepreneur.

A fellow at Harvard, she is a non-executive director of YouGov plc and advises and invests in a number of technology businesses in Europe and North America.

She also chaired the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council and serves on the advisory board of a number of universities.

Marilyn Livingstone, chief executive of the Adam Smith Global Foundation, which organises the festival, said she was delighted to announce next year’s speakers,

“We are delighted that web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Rosemary Leith will deliver the 2019 Adam Smith Lecture,” she said.

“The lecture will mark 30 years since the invention of the World Wide Web by looking at its future and how we all have a role to play in ensuring the web serves humanity.”

The festival – which has the backing of Fife Cultural Trust, Kirkcaldy4All and Fife College – has already announced the return of the hugely popular food festival in the college atrium, and unveiled Eddie Izzard as the main headliner with a live show at the Adam Smith on Saturday, March 16.

There are a few tickets remaining for this exclusive gig ahead of his full UK tour.

The identity of this year’s celebrity Q&A guest is still under wraps.