I was invited to Surbiton High School earlier this year to speak about my book Saving Bletchley Park. The year 6 girls and teachers went on a trip to Bletchley Park a few weeks ago. Today I was invited back to see all the work they had done and hear about their trip. They had made Anderson shelters, morse code machines, cardboard suitcases and had dressed up in 1940s clothes, it was fabulous. Cross curricula activity at its best 😀👍🎉
Last night was one of the best nights of my life! My book Saving Bletchley Park was launched at Waterstones Piccadilly in central London. It was an amazing evening with speeches, a reading from my book, tears, drinks, great conversation and lots of laughter 😀 Thanks a million to everyone that came and made it such a special night ❤️
Enjoyed contributing to an extremely interesting round table discussion about the UK/US Special Relationship this morning at the U.S. Ambassador in London Matthew Barzun‘s residence Winfield House in Regent’s Park 😀 The conversation ranged from women to technology, from art to Bletchley Park and beyond. Looking forward to some practical next steps to take things to the next level.
My #IWD2016 started with a keynote at King Games in Soho, what a great bunch of people, and supercool offices.
Quick catchup with @lloyddavis and @technokitten for an #IWD2016 podcast
Bumped into Professor Sarah Martindale from Nottingham University outside the House of Commons.
Spent 2 hours live tweeting the #IWD2016 debate for the 50:50 Parliament campaign. Got chucked out for taking a photo, then was let back in to continue.
A wonderful #IWD2016 with so many friends old and new. Happy #IWD2016! 😀👍🎉
Last night Steve Colgan and I gave a @savingbletchley book talk at Chester Literary Festival. We travelled up together on the train from London together during the afternoon.
After dropping our bags at the hotel we made our way over to Chester Town Hall.
I was so excited as it was the first time I’d given a talk at a literary festival, and the first time I’d read from my book in public.
Questions about the veterans, social media, crowdfunding, cryptography, Enigma, computing and much more 😀
This morning we made our way to Chester station before parting ways, Steve going back off to London
Thanks Mark Carline for the pics not take by me 😀👍
It’s so great to see the awesome US CTO Megan Smith speak about representation of women in the film “The Imitation Game” as not being representative of what actually happened at Bletchley Park during WW2.
“Smith pointed out that Joan Clarke, the code-breaker depicted in the recent film The Imitation Game, was just one of numerous female mathematicians who worked at the U.K.’s World War II lab known as Bletchley Park. Likewise, Smith observed that women’s contributions to the development of the Mac were been scrubbed from the movie Jobs, and from the space mission in Apollo.
The upshot, Smith suggested, is that a perceived dearth of women in STEM professions can be partly addressed by ensuring the proper depiction of those who are already working in them.”
Go Megan! 🙂
In November 2011 I was honoured to take Megan, along with Reid Hoffman, Julie Hanna and DJ Patil around Bletchley Park with then Bletchley Park CEO Simon Greenish. I met Megan when I approached her after she spoke on a panel at NESTA in 2010 and asked her to help Bletchley Park to buy the Turing papers which were then up for auction.
We had a wonderful day together, Google stepped in to help save the Turing papers for Bletchley Park, and went on to support Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing in many ways 🙂 #serendipity
Have you seen The Imitation Game starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch? Have you wondered what is historically accurate in the film, what is true and what false? Is Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing accurate? Does Keira Knightley’s portrayal of Joan Clarke get over her true character?
This blog post is a collection of links to information that is related to The Imitation Game and will hopefully go some way towards answering questions that you may have about Turing, The Imitation Game and Bletchley Park.
I have been involved with Bletchley Park and known about Alan Turing for over 10 years. I spearheaded a campaign to save Bletchley Park in 2008 which I write about in detail in my forthcoming book Saving Bletchley Park: the story of Bletchley Park and the campaigns to save it. Bletchley Park is now a museum open to the public, do visit if you can and don’t forget The National Museum of Computing next door.
REVIEWS OF THE IMITATION GAME
I wrote a review of The Imitation Game that @pubstrat on Twitter said is
“One of the most thought provoking film reviews I have ever read.”
Here’s my review written after seeing the film and being on a panel afterwards at the Phoenix Cinema in London: The Imitation Game: Art Imitating Real Life?
There are many other reviews including:
“Broken codes, both strategic and social” The New York Times
“An engrossing and poignant thriller” The Guardian
What’s the best review that you have read and why? Do post a comment below and I’ll add it to the list 🙂
BOOKS ABOUT ALAN TURING + JOAN CLARKE
The book that inspired the film is Andrew Hodges Alan Turing: The Enigma a definitive biography of Turing. Very few of us would have heard of Alan Turing if it were not for Andrew.
Alan M. Turing written by Turing’s mother Sara Turing.
There’s also Alan Turing e l’intelligenza delle macchine by Teresa Numerico in Italian.
I’m eagerly awaiting a book by Kerry Howard “Women Codebreakers at Bletchley Park” the story of three female codebreakers: Mavis Batey, Joan Clarke and Margaret Rock. Kerry has recently had contact with Joan Clarke’s relatives which is very exciting news. The book will be out later this month (January 2015). There’s also lots of info on Kerry’s “Bletchley Park Research” website.
FACT OR FICTION? WHAT IS TRUE AND WHAT IS FALSE?
Steve Colgan and I put together
“10 things you need to know about The Imitation Game“, which looks at what was true and false in the film.
We also did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session which is a public Q and A about The Imitation Game and Bletchley Park: “IamA Dr Sue Black, I started a campaign to save Bletchley Park as featured in The Imitation Game. I am joined by co-author of my book Saving Bletchley Park and QI Elf Steve Colgan and we are experts on the history of Bletchley Park and Alan Turning AMA!”
FIRST HAND STORIES ABOUT ALAN TURING
I, of course, have not met Alan Turing, but have met several people who did over the years of my involvement with Bletchley Park. Turing’s mentor at Bletchley was the codebreaker Max Newman. Newman also testified for Turing when he was sentenced and prosecuted. I’ve spoken several times to William Newman, Max Newman’s son about Alan Turing and what he remembers of him. William told me stories of when he was a child and Turing used to visit. I relate two of these in Robert Lewellyn’s Carpool interview with me from a few years ago about Turing and Bletchley Park and it’s significance.
CAN YOU HELP? WHAT’S THE BEST LINK YOU HAVE FOUND?
I will be updating this page regularly, this is just a start with information that I know of. Please do add useful links in the comments below and I’ll add them to the page as we go.