Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Plan 28 is gathering steam

Last month I promised that I would be able to make announcements about the state of Plan 28 in July. I'm pleased to announce that Plan 28 is going ahead. Doron and I have been working in our spare time on the project and today I am able to say that:

1. The Computer Conservation Society (who have been involved in many historical computer reconstructions in the UK) have accepted the construction of the Analytical Engine into their portfolio of projects. The CCS will provide expert advice and assistance to Plan 28 if/when needed.

2. A board of trustees has been found for the Plan 28 charity and the paperwork prepared for submission of Plan 28 to the Charity Commission for registration as a charity in the UK. The specific charitable purposes of Plan 28 are:
The advancement of education, in particular in the fields of science and the history of science, through the construction of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine; and the advancement of science, in particular through: research in the fields of computer science, engineering and mathematics; and the raising of public awareness of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine and related developments.
Once the Charity Commission has responded a bank account will be opened.

3. We expect work to begin on the project in earnest in October with the research project to decipher Charles Babbage's notebooks. This will likely take one to two years and be led by Doron. Only once these have been examined will a clearer picture of the details of the Analytical Engine emerge. We plan to publish these results in appropriate academic journals.

4. We are in active discussions at a very senior level with The Science Museum about their participation. We expect the terms of Plan 28 and The Science Museum's cooperation to be announced in September or October once details have been ironed out and the summer holiday period has been passed.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.

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