The internet has become an indispensable part of our daily lives and an essential component of the 21st century global economy. However, this new era of speed, connectivity and innovation has led to unforeseen risks, impacting users’ personal information, private sector competitiveness and national security. Developing flexible policies to safeguard private data and ensure fairness among internet providers and web-based services will be an ongoing challenge as internet usage continues to grow.
At this Civic Scientist Lecture, Vint Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, addressed current and future challenges of maintaining a free and open internet from his perspective as one of the “fathers of the internet” and a lifelong advocate for net neutrality.
This event was sponsored by the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program in conjunction with Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering and Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Follow @BakerInstitute on Twitter and join the conversation online with #Baker25th.
This event was part of the 25th anniversary commemorative programs featuring the centers and research of Rice University’s Baker Institute.
About the Civic Scientist Lecture Series
The Civic Scientist Lecture Series is an initiative sponsored by the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program. The lectures are a series of discussions by leading scientists from around the country who have impacted public policy. The goal of the series is to expose scientists and future scientists to the notion that they can have an impact outside the laboratory. It also gives the Houston community an opportunity to hear leading scientists discuss their fields and careers, hopefully promoting science and technology as a public good worthy of federal, state and local funding. Support for the Civic Scientist Program is generously provided by Benjamin and Winifer Cheng.
6:00 p.m. — Reception
6:30 p.m. — Presentation
Vint Cerf, Ph.D., is vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, a position he has held since 2005. He is well known for co-designing, alongside his colleague Bob Kahn, the TCP/IP protocols — the fundamental communication systems of the internet — research that earned them the titles of “fathers of the internet.” Cerf began his career as an assistant professor at Stanford University before moving to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1976. During this time, he and Kahn, who also worked at DARPA, developed the early architecture for the internet, including their seminal 1974 paper on the TCP/IP protocols. Since leaving DARPA in 1982, Cerf has served in various other leadership roles, including vice president of MCI Digital Information Services, a founder and inaugural president of the Internet Society, member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, chairman of the board for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and visiting scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Cerf has also served on the National Science Board since 2012, a position he was appointed to by President Barack Obama. Cerf was awarded the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1997, the Alan M. Turing Award — often called the Nobel Prize of computing — from the Association for Computing Machinery in 2004, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2005. Cerf holds a B.S. in mathematics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles.