LONDON The publishers of a book describing historical sites around the world famous for breakthroughs in technology, science and mathematics are to donate 50 pence for every book sold to Britain's struggling and run down Bletchley Park, home to the country's code-cracking and computing heritage.
O'Reilly Media, publishers of The Geek Atlas: 128 Places Where Science & Technology Come Alive will be donating the money to efforts underway by the Bletchley Park Trust Fund to save the site where the Enigma code was broken during World War II.
The book is authored by John Graham-Cumming, a self-described wandering programmer who has lived in the U.K., California, New York and France. Along the way Graham-Cumming worked for a succession of technology start-ups, written the open source POPFile email programme and churned out articles for publications such as The Guardian newspaper, Dr Dobbs, and Linux Magazine.
The travellers' guide covers 128 destinations around the globe where major breakthroughs in science, mathematics, or technology occurred - or are happening now.
"Unfortunately, finding great scientific places to visit is not as easy as finding homes of long-dead poets, painters, or writers. This is a pity, because if there is one thing that makes science stand apart, it's the willingness of scientists to freely share what they do."
Each site in The Geek Atlas focuses on discoveries or inventions and includes information about the people and the science behind them. Full of photos and illustrations, the book comes complete with latitudes and longitudes for GPS devices.
The destinations covered include, naturally, Bletchley Park itself, as well as the Alan Turing Memorial in Manchester, England; the Horn Antenna in New Jersey, where the Big Bang theory was confirmed; the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland; the Trinity Test Site in New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was exploded and the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, California.
"One thing that I've been asked by reviewers again and again is to recommend one single must-see place. Picking one place is next to impossible - there's just so much great science out there - but I will admit to shedding a tear every time I see the Difference Engine at the Science Museum in London," says Graham-Cumming. "It's mathematics in motion and arithmetic in action."
Funding helps secure future of Bletchley Park
US firms donate $100,000 to help save Bletchley Park
My visit to Bletchley Park