Internet pioneer to carry on Marconi’s legacy by recognizing major technology contributors, continuing support for promising researchers and promoting sustainable technology
The Marconi Society, dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and related technologies, announced today that Internet pioneer Vinton G. Cerf has been elected Chairman of the Marconi Society. Mr. Cerf, who previously served as vice chairman of the Marconi Society, succeeds Sir David Payne, a leading optical fiber researcher and inventor who led the Marconi Society for six years and who will remain on the Board.
“I’m honored to be chosen to lead the Marconi Society and support its important work,” says Cerf. “Radio is pervasive. It’s everywhere in our society now. We carry mobiles and we can foresee many devices that are going to be communicating by radio, including self-driving cars. The technology is still evolving. More and more ways are being discovered to use radio and other communication technologies every day. Radio has proven to be a pervasive technology and that is why it is important to recognize the inventor, as well as the people who followed him.”
In addition to the annual Marconi Prize, widely considered a pinnacle achievement in telecommunications and the Internet, the Marconi Society recognizes exceptional young researchers with the Paul Baran Young Scholar Award.
“I’m a big enthusiast of the Young Scholar program, since that’s where all the new developments come from,” Mr. Cerf says. “This program often accelerates people in their careers. It’s such a joy to meet these young people and encourage them in their work.”
Cerf also cites the importance of the Young Scholars’ Celestini Project, which is focused on developing countries in Africa, and provides support and mentoring to local students who create new applications of technology to benefit their communities. “Probably the most important thing we can do is to bring new technology to bear and have the people who are using it be the same people who are developing it,” Mr. Cerf says. “The whole idea is to create a sustainable wave of technology and evolution.”
Mr. Cerf is widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” and is credited with designing TCP/IP protocols and the basic architecture of the Internet together with Robert Kahn. He currently serves as Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. He received the Marconi Prize in 1998, and has been honored with the U.S. National Medal of Technology and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States to its citizens.