Three scientists who won the 2002 Japan Prize expressed hopes Monday that their achievements will be utilized to enhance the welfare of people the world over.
Timothy John Berners-Lee, a British scientist who won his prize for inventing the World Wide Web, said that it is everybody’s job to prevent the medium from being controlled by a particular power.
“Keeping the World Wide Web universal, keeping it independent from all the various powers and forces that often try to push it in one particular direction or try to take control of it, is very important,” said Berners-Lee during a news conference held in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.
The senior research scientist at the Laboratory for Computer Science of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. invented the medium by developing HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language.
The 46-year-old scientist, who is the youngest recipient of the prize since its founding in 1985, won in the category of computing and computational science and engineering.
Anne McLaren, the principal research associate of Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research Campaign Institute in Britain, and Andrzej K. Tarkowski, the director of the Institute of Zoology of Warsaw University in Poland, shared the prize in the category of developmental biology.
McLaren and Tarkowski pioneered research in developmental biology of mammals using a mouse as a model and established technologies to manipulate early embryos. Part of McLaren’s work is related to embryonic stem cells.
This research is expected to lead to the development of treatments for currently incurable diseases such as Parkinson’s and heart diseases.
“All these diseases could perhaps be helped or even cured by the use of stem cells,” said McLaren, who is the first woman laureate of the prize.
The laureates are currently visiting Tokyo for the award presentation ceremony on Thursday, during which they will receive a cash award of 50 million yen for each prize category as well as certificates of merit and commemorative medals.
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