How Plants Are Named

Part 2


Alan Turing’s Computer, which was named “the Bombe”

by Mary Francis, Fairfax Master Gardener Intern
In the 20th century, plant names began changing very rapidly due to the convergence of three extraordinary advances in science. These revolutionary findings have far reaching implications in taxonomy, now and even more so in the future. Their impact cannot be underestimated in myriad disciplines beyond taxonomy.

In a 1936 paper, Alan Turing described what he called an “automatic machine” that could solve any computing problem described as a sequence of mathematical steps. He also showed that one machine could stimulate another machine and that a machine could hold both data and code. In 1938 Turing worked with the British government where he famously cracked the codes used by the Germans in World War II by deciphering their “Enigma” machine. Thus began the computer age.

Watson and Crick

Watson an