Professor Sue Black

Virtual meets: Sue Black on saving Bletchley, lockdown, and awards online

Image credit: Sue Black

Computer scientist, author and campaigner Sue Black on how a bunch of broken-down huts became heritage saved for the nation, and her role as a technology evangelist.

"The first time I went to Bletchley Park was, I think, 2003," says Sue Black, Professor of Computer Science at Durham University and campaigner for women in technology. "I was there for a meeting but I ended up walking around and chatting to some people who were rebuilding Turing's Bombe machine, one of the machines that was used to industrialise the code-breaking process during World War Two. And, chatting to them, I found out that about 8,000 women worked at Bletchley Park and I didn't know anything about any women working there at all. I thought it was perhaps 50 old blokes for some reason – I don't know why!"

E&T talks to Sue Black about getting Alan Turing voted to be named the greatest Great Briton ever, her campaign to save the Bletchley Park site for the nation, and how its work might have given the UK the world's computer industry instead of Silicon Valley. She also looks forward to the E&T Innovation Awards next week. 

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