A new exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Alan Turing has opened at the Science Museum in London.
“Codebreaker” explores the prolific career and tragic end of one of the most important mathematicians and computing pioneers of the Second World War.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about his most important ideas and also the crucial role his innovations played in detecting and deciphering coded messages.
Interactive exhibits, photos, personal recollections all help flesh out an image of one of the greatest twentieth-century thinkers in Britain, and the exhibition’s centrepiece – the Pilot ACE computer, built from Turing’s design – gives visitors a tangible example of his brilliance at work.
“We are in geek heaven,” Turing’s nephew, Sir John Turing, told the Guardian. “This exhibition is a great tribute to a very remarkable man,” he added.
“My father was in awe of him, the word genius was often used in speaking of him in the family,” he said, “but he also spoke of his eccentricity, of how he cycled to work at Bletchley wearing a gas mask to control his hayfever so the local people he passed dreaded that a gas attack was imminent.”
Turner’s impressive contributions are still present – the Turing Test is still a measure of artificial intelligence, and his legacy continues to be felt in science and technology today.
“The exhibition is an opportunity to present he remarkable work of a man whose influence reaches into perhaps the most widespread and increasingly popular public pastime of the 21st century, the use of the personal computing device, yet whose name is probably unfamiliar to the vast majority of people,” exhibition curator David Rooney said in a statement.