[Humanist] 28.797 Turing: computer to morphogenesis

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Mar 6 10:55:35 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 797.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 09:27:18 +0000
        From: "Hurst, Phil" <Phil.Hurst at ROYALSOCIETY.ORG>
        Subject: A fresh look at landmark science papers to celebrate oldest journal’s 350th birthday

[The following marks a great event. But I draw your attention to it for the specific reason of Philip Ball's masterful review of Alan Turing's 1952 paper on the "Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis". You will find this review via the second link below. I would hope that you take a moment to consider the mind of the person who designed the scheme to which we trace in part our professional lineage (1936/7), designed the machine which helped to break the Enigma code (early 1940s), considered the question of an artificial intelligence (1950) and then wrote the paper on morphogenesis. Admiration, of course, but more than that: the singular though complex origin of them all? --WM]

The world’s oldest scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, celebrates its 350th anniversary today.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Royal Society has published two special journal issues in which modern experts revisit landmark papers published in Philosophical Transactions to explore how they have impacted science across the globe.

Highlights in the celebratory issues include: science writer Philip Ball, writing on Alan Turing’s paper ‘Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis’ on the spontaneous formation of patterns in the natural world; Dr Nick Lane reflects on Leeuwenhoek’s first glance into the microscopic world of bacteria; Patricia Fara explores Newton’s 1672 paper which presented his new theory about light and colour; and Jim Al-Khalili takes a look at Faraday’s ‘Experimental researches in electricity’.

More details of these open access issues are available at:


Philosophical Transactions pioneered the concepts of scientific priority and peer review which, together with archiving and dissemination, provide the model for almost 30,000 scientific journals today.

To celebrate the anniversary the Royal Society is holding a series of events looking back at the history of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and forwards to the future of scientific publication. To find out more about celebrations around the anniversary visit: https://royalsociety.org/publishing350/

Phil Hurst
The Royal Society
phil.hurst at royalsociety.org<mailto:phil.hurst at royalsociety.org>

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