Professor Nigel Shadbolt To Receive Knighthood

The web pioneer and co-founder of the Open Data Institute has his achievements recognised by the Queen

Professor Nigel Shadbolt, artificial intelligence expert, pioneer of Web Science and co-founder of the government-backed Open Data Institute (ODI) has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to science and engineering.

Shadbolt will join a growing list of tech visionaries whose achievements have been recognised by the Queen, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Wendy Hall, Sir Jonathan Ive and Sir Hossein Yassaie.

Where credit is due

During the last 30 years, Shadbolt has been at the forefront of some of the most important and historic developments of the Web. He has published over 400 articles on topics ranging from computer science to cognitive psychology, and is credited with popularising the emerging field of Web Science.

nigel-shadboltShadbolt is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Computer Society and the European AI Association. At the moment, he serves as the head of the Web and Internet Science Group at the University of Southampton, chairman of ODI and director of both the Web Science Trust and the Web Foundation.

In 2009, the Prime Minister appointed Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee (who was knighted in 2004) as information advisors to the government, trusting them to transform access to public sector data. This work culminated last December, when the two established ODI – a non-profit organisation headquartered in London’s Tech City and dedicated to making better use of data collected by government organisations.

Earlier today at the G8 Summit, ODI launched Open Data Certificates to help more people and businesses find, understand and use the wealth of free information that is being released. The certificates carry a mark that signifies the quality of data, along with a machine-readable description.

“I’m surprised and delighted to be recognised with this very special honour,” said Professor Shadbolt. “I’m fortunate to have been involved at a crucial period working with outstanding colleagues in the development of both Web Science and the Open Data movement. I hope that I can continue to make a difference as we seek to understand how the web is evolving, and ensure that we are empowered individually and collectively.”

“This is very well deserved. Nigel has been instrumental in helping government understand the power of the Web and Open Data over the past decade. As the founder and Chairman of the ODI, he is inspirational in his support of our work and we would like to congratulate him on being awarded this honour,” commented Gavin Starks, CEO of ODI.

What do you know about London’s Tech City? Take our quiz!