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Google backs Alan Turing papers bid

Coughs up cash to keep papers at Bletchley
Tue Nov 23 2010, 13:44

THE BLETCHLEY PARK FUND has had a boost in its campaign to buy World War Two code breaker Alan Turing's papers at a Christie's auction.

The legendary cryptologist's papers could sell for as much as £500,000 according to Christies, but the people at Bletchley Park want them to stay in the UK and on display there. The only problem is that it does not have half a million quid to spend, regardless of how badly it wants the papers.

Fortunately, as we reported last week, some bright spark at the Park had the wise idea of raising the money to buy the papers, and even more fortunately Google has decided to not be evil, and kick in some cash.

"As you may have seen, this afternoon some key papers from British computer scientist and wartime codebreaker Alan Turing are up for auction at Christie's in London. Dr Turing is a hero to many of us at Google for his pioneering work on algorithms and the development of computer science", wrote the firm in a release. "He's also an important figure for many across the world who face homophobic attacks and bullying."

Google was approached by Dr Sue Black, a computer scientist at University College London, who explained the significance of the papers to the Internet search firm.

"Sue asked Google for our support in purchasing the papers for Bletchley Park, which we agree is clearly the right place to house them," added Google. "We are backing the bid with a contribution of $100,000 towards a successful purchase."

The deadline for bids is 2pm today, so look down the back of your sofa and see if you can help. Turing died without public recognition, and now looks like a good time to change that. µ



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