Nigel Shadbolt named Government IT Thought Leader

The influential web site has named Prof Nigel Shadbolt as a leading Government IT Thought Leader 2010. writes: “Professor Nigel Shadbolt has helped demonstrate how technology can open the doors on public information locked away in Whitehall.

“In June 2009 Shadbolt and world wide web creator Tim Berners-Lee were appointed information advisers, tasked with finding ways of harnessing tech to reuse the reams of data collected by public bodies.

“The pair’s work led to the creation of, a website designed to allow access to all non-personal data collected by government. The website already links to thousands of datasets, covering topics ranging from public transport routes to details about the highest earners in government.

“The public are already finding interesting new ways to use’s information – turning it into easy-to-digest graphics or web and smartphone apps that allow the data to be mashed up with other information to create useful new insights.

“The coalition government has retained Shadbolt’s services, appointing him to the Public Sector Transparency Board, a body that is setting open data standards to make it easier for information to be shared across the public sector. He is also chairman of the Local Data Panel, which seeks to improve access to data held by local government.

“Shadbolt’s spirit of openness has taken root in Whitehall – with the government setting up, a website designed to publish details of Whitehall department business plans, government spending and other information.

“Outside his public sector work, Shadbolt is professor of artificial intelligence and deputy head for research at the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

“Shadbolt is a director of the Web Science Trust, and of the World Wide Web Foundation – organisations that seek to advance our understanding of the web and promote the web’s positive impact on society.

“He is a fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, and has previously served as BCS president.”

Other leading figures named by include Martha Lane-Fox, Digital Champion, UK Government; Erik Huggers, Director of Future Media and Technology, BBC; and Tom Steinberg, Founder, web sites.