The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), an independent charity has today announced that esteemed technology broadcaster, Rory Cellan-Jones has been awarded an honorary fellowship of the museum. The fellowship recognises outstanding contributions towards the history and ongoing development of computing, with Cellan-Jones receiving the honour as a result of his significant, and quality contribution to advancing public knowledge and understanding of the history, culture, science, technology, and practice of computing.
The revered ‘BBC lifer’ who has spent his entire journalistic career at the BBC, originally as a researcher, followed by reporting on business and economics before moving into technology, has had a front row seat to the most pressing tech news for over 40 years. As such he has been pivotal in the reporting of these stories; from the dot com crash and the rise of online retailing, to the cultural impact of the internet and more recently the impact the pandemic has had on the technology industry.
With no formal background in technology, Cellan-Jones is described by the BBC as “the non-geek’s geek” due to his ability to communicate the biggest technology stories to a non-specialist audience in an engaging way. He is also a published author, with his first book ‘Dot.Bomb’, which was originally published in 2001 telling the story of how the dot com tide swept over Britain and what was left when it receded.
Earlier this year, he published his second book, ‘Always On: Hope and Fear in the Social Smartphone Era’ which Stephen Fry reviewed as a “delightfully insightful and intensely readable history combining the personal with the objective.” TNMOC recognises the significant contribution this book has had in charting recent computer history, from the launch of the revolutionary Apple iPhone in 2007, through the rise of social media and the technology giants, to today’s dependence on smart devices.
As a long-term advocate for a greater focus on technology education, Cellan-Jones also donates his time to ‘Speakers for Schools,’ a charity which aims to end educational inequality to young people through providing talks from today’s most influential figures. As part of this programme, Cellan-Jones is known for his engaging talks on modern computing issues such as security and fake news, while also engaging with students over the pros and cons of gaming consoles and showcasing innovative technologies.
The TNMOC fellowship recognises these outstanding and lasting contributions and brings Cellan-Jones’ unrivalled insights on the impact of the internet and digital technology on our lives and businesses to bring new, expert insights to the museum. His ability to distil complex topics and convey them to the public in an engaging and understandable way will aid the museum in ensuring its educational programmes grow even stronger.
Upon receiving the fellowship, Rory Cellan-Jones commented: “It’s an honour to receive this fellowship and I’m incredibly grateful to have even been considered. I have long admired the work that The National Museum of Computing does and look forward to helping communicate the importance of its collection and its educational mission.”
The Museum’s director, Jacqui Garrad added, “Rory Cellan-Jones’ understanding of the biggest tech issues in today’s world, his expertise on computing, and his work around engaging school children’s curiosity and ambition in the world of technology make him the perfect honorary fellow for The National Museum of Computing. We’re thrilled to have his expertise onboard and look forward to expanding our educational programmes with his help.”