'Alan Turing Institute' For Data Funded In 2014 Budget

Budget Honour For WW2 Code Breaker Alan Turing

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Nestled in the detail of George Osborne's 2014 budget was some good news for data scientists - and an overdue nod to famed Bletchley Park code breaker Alan Turing.

A new 'Alan Turing Institute' for research into data science will be funded with £42 million from money set aside for scientific endeavour, Chancellor George Osborne announced.

The government said research into so-called 'Big Data' would boost tech and health industries, and provide new avenues for growth.

Roughly put, 'big data' is the study of techniques to shift through massive amounts of information to find patterns --which would be difficult or impossible to find by hand -- and use those findings to inform policy.

Details on what exactly the institute will do, and how it will be run are yet to emerge. But the news was cautiously welcomed on social media:

Alan Turing was a hugely influential logician and computer scientist, whose work was crucial to breaking German ciphers during World War 2.

But after the war in 1952 Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality, and avoided prison only by accepting treatment with female hormones. He died of cyanide poisoning in 1954. His death was recorded as a suicide at the time though some have questioned that verdict since.

Turing was only granted an official pardon in December 2013, following an earlier apology made by then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009.

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