Ranking the world’s greatest contemporary scientists may be a no-win proposition, with inevitable questions about how to evaluate one’s contribution over another. How does a discovery in one field measure up to a discovery in a different one
? And what about Richard Dawkins, where is he on this list? All reasonable questions, but ultimately we need to start the discussion somewhere. So here’s a debatable list of top scientists from around the world who have made a great impact on our life (but not in order of the magnitude of their achievements because that just might be an unscientific exercise):
1. Timothy Berners-Lee
It would be hard to argue against the guy who invented a little something called “the world wide web” being on this list. Timothy Berners-Lee is a British computer scientist, knighted by the Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work. He is especially famous for his proposal to share information by using the technology of hypertext, the cornerstone of the world wide web. Berners-Lee also made the world’s first website in 1991.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee inventor of the World Wide Web arrives at Guildhall to receive an Honorary Freedom of the City of London award on September 24, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)