March 5, 2012

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

The Life & Works Of Alan Turing - Display Funded By SC2012

Just a quick post this morning to mention something that's happening this morning at Bletchley Park, the venue of Software Craftsmanship 2012.

BBC Top Gear presenter, and science and engineering buff, James May will be unveiling the "Life & Works Of Alan Turing" exhibition at 11am.

I mention this because there's an SC2012 connection.

Last year, we contributed about £15,000 to the refursbishment of the museum in B Block where the Turing exhibition now lives. This year, we're paying for the special environmentally-controlled casing where the Turing papers are displayed.

We've raised half the money already, and by registering for SC2012 you can help us raise the other half, as well as support other Turing-related projects with any extra money we raise.

From the Bletchley Park press release:

Fascinating and poignant new artefacts are to be revealed for the very first time, and in the presence of Alan Turing’s family, on Monday 5 March at the unveiling of Bletchley Park’s “The Life and Works of Alan Turing” exhibition. These will include the rebuild of Delilah, a secret speech system that Turing began developing for the war effort in 1943, a teddy bear, named by him as Porgy and used to practise his lectures on, and a letter to his mother, twenty years after his death, telling her for the very first time about his “vital importance to the outcome of World War II” and his contribution to the development of the modern computer.

The exhibition has been developed following a high-profile public campaign last year to save a rare collection of Alan Turing’s work for the nation. The collection was secured for Bletchley Park after an exciting collaboration of the public, the private sector and the public sector to provide the funding package required. Following this, members of the Turing family came forward with some extremely rare personal belongings of Turing and the Bletchley Park Trust Bombe Rebuild Team set to work on the complex and unique project of rebuilding Delilah, a world-first, planned to go on public display in the museum later in the year. The son of fellow codebreaker and friend of Turing, William Newman, provided Bletchley Park with a hand-drawn Monopoly board on which the young William had played, and beaten, Alan Turing.

When the collection of Turing’s works had been secured, Jack Copeland, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury and Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing stated, “this will be the first permanent public exhibition of Turing's work and of major international importance”. However now, more than that, these new unique and very personal artefacts complement beautifully the highly academic nature of Turing’s work, making the exhibition visually compelling and providing a deeply touching human dimension.

Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, describing the exhibition, explained, ”The Life and Works of Alan Turing depicts a man who was not only a brilliant and visionary mathematician and codebreaker but also a beloved son, an accomplished sportsman and a man of humour and sensitivity. The exhibition makes a complex subject accessible to all, inspiring mathematicians of the future and giving long-awaited recognition to the short but brilliant life and legacy of Alan Turing, the father of computing. I am also delighted that this exhibition has been long-listed for the Art Fund Prize 2012, very fittingly, in this, the Turing Centenary Year.”

Other artefacts within the exhibition include a copy of the 2009 government apology to Alan Turing for his treatment as a gay man, a biography written of him by his mother, prize books awarded at school and his wristwatch. Also highlighting his sporting prowess are tankards awarded to him at King’s College, Cambridge for his rowing, and a set of oars hand-painted with his name from when he had participated in the May “Bumps” Week. All of this alongside the now world-famous and exquisite Turing slate statue, by sculptor Stephen Kettle, and the Turing Bombe Rebuild, already a key Bletchley Park exhibit and a remarkable example of precision engineering and Alan Turing’s genius.

The exhibition’s opening coincides with the official visit from the judges of the Art Fund Prize 2012, currently undertaking their nationwide search to find the ‘museum of the year’. Chaired by Lord Smith of Finsbury, the judges, including Sir Mark Jones, Master at St Cross College, Oxford and former V&A director, and artist Lisa Milroy, will explore the exhibition, and nine other projects by UK museums in the coming months, to decide who will win the biggest cash prize awarded to arts and cultural organisations in the UK.

Members of the public are urged to tell the judges why Bletchley Park deserves to win the £100,000 Art Fund Prize by visiting

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago on March 5, 2012