Tackling the social science enigmas

Paul Meller has worked at the ESRC for over six years in a number of roles in the training and longitudinal studies teams and is currently the Head of Data and Resources. Before joining the ESRC Paul completed a doctorate in history at Durham University.

Paul Meller 150x150

Turing and real world problems

Like the millions of other people who rushed to see it last year, I loved The Imitation Game. Apart from the star turn of the infallible Benedict Cumberbatch, it was a fantastic human story and overdue celebration of Turing’s remarkable achievements.

Clearly what I also loved (and I would say this as an employee of the Research Councils!) was that this was also a story focused on the power of channelling highly theoretical research and knowledge into a practical application. When Alan Turing started work at Bletchley Park he was faced with a very real world problem – designing a machine that would decipher Enigma and thereby shorten the Second World War.

It’s in this context then that I’ve been looking at the recently established Alan Turing Institute (ATI) – which officially launches tomorrow (11 November) – with great interest from the perspective of the social sciences.

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