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School of Politics and International Relations

BBC Icons: Alan Turing was a worthy winner – but where were the women?


Icons is a new, eight-part history series for BBC Two which celebrates the achievements of some of the greatest figures of the 20th century. Across the series the audience was asked to assess the achievements with the winner announced on the grand final on February 5. Professor Rainbow Murray published an article for The Conversation where she discusses the fact that while women were shortlisted, there were no women included in the final list. She writes: “What can we learn from all this? First, that it is not women’s lack of achievement, but our collective inability to give adequate recognition to that achievement, that is at fault. Second, that we are not yet as meritocratic a society as we might imagine ourselves to be. Third, that we need to do all that we can to acknowledge the true contribution of women, past, present and future, because one of the most important lessons of a historical show is to ensure that the errors of the past are not repeated.”



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