Some news on Turing’s Year


Things are really starting to move in the run-up to the Turing Centenary in 2012. Here are just a few recent items – many more not ready to be revealed just yet!

Firstly, need to mention that the Alan Turing Year webpage still has URL:

But the local host has changed, so you may need to update your bookmark.

A very nice item in today’s Guardian is John Graham-Cumming’s article: “An Olympic honour for Alan Turing”. Following on from his successful campaign for a Government apology to Turing for the homophobic treatment he received in the early fifties, he is now hoping to get the Olympic marathon held in Turing’s honour: Of course, Turing was a talented marathon runner himself, with a best time of 2 hours 46 minutes, quite something for those days.

Turing’s old college, King’s College, Cambridge, now has a group of members making plans for a special event on the actual anniversary, and for an exhibition (based on their fascinating Turing archive), for which Cambridge University support is being sought. There are weighty sponsors lining up to support their efforts – watch this space …

The Turing centenary is also going international, with developments in prospect in the US where there is ACM support, in Germany, China, and possibly Italy and the Netherlands.

The lively and innovative Computer Science For Fun project has agreed to get involved with the ATY outreach activities. (Links to webpages for all the organisations mentioned can be found at the ATY homepage.)

For the academics amongst us, there are a number of publishing plans developing, including an admirable Elsevier initiative based on their ‘Collective Works of A.M. Turing’, and an exciting Turing-related project from CUP.

There are various cultural initiatives, including a Turing opera.

There are ambitious plans for a central London Turing exhibition progressing nicely towards a point where we can say where it will be!

Particularly exciting and very recent developments include the potential for major new Turing-related initiatives from the John Templeton Foundation and Wolfram Research. These are still very much at a preliminary stage.

And there are exciting Turing Test/AI activities/competitions taking shape, very appropriately associated with Bletchley Park.

On the conference front there is a huge amount of activity, enough to fill a whole new update in due course.

And, as always, Bletchley Park and its supporters continue to make waves in the media and generally. The long-standing and unique Bletchley involvement with the Royal Mint may well deliver the hoped-for Turing Centenary postage stamps – fingers crossed.

Please help us to build 2012 into a real “Alan Turing Year”. Just one example of what can be done by individuals – Huma Shah has written to the BBC about making a special Dr Who episode to coincide with the Alan Turing Year 2012 celebrations! And she is also contacting Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, about using the Trafalgar Square ‘Fourth Plinth’ for a 2012 Alan Turing recognition. Londoners feel free to add your voice!

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