'Father of the computer' named BBC's greatest scientist of 20th century
By Gao Yun

BBC has listed Alan Turing, the creator of modern computing, as the greatest person of the 20th century in the category of "Scientists," out of other three influential scientists.

The BBC show "Icons" set seven categories for this honor, including leaders, explorers, scientists, entertainers, activists, sports stars and artists and writers, with four outstanding characters in each field.

Turing, regarded as "the father of the computer" and "World War Two code-breaker," stood out by public voting from other three contenders, including Marie Curie, who discovered radium and polonium, Albert Einstein, the great theoretical physicist, and Tu Youyou, the chemist who discovered artemisinin's use in tackling malaria.

British mathematician Alan Turing, also regarded as "the father of the computer" /VCG Photo

British mathematician Alan Turing, also regarded as "the father of the computer" /VCG Photo

Turing's "revolutionary work provided the foundation for modern computers. He later came up with the ‘Turing test' to determine whether a machine is intelligent – or not," said BBC, adding that his endeavor also "helped win a war" as his invention "sped up code-cracking efforts from weeks to hours by trying multiple permutations."

What's noteworthy is that Tu Youyou, Chinese pharmaceutical chemist, is the only living nominee in the category of scientists and the only Asian among the all 28 candidates.

Tu Youyou, Chinese pharmaceutical chemist /VCG Photo

Tu Youyou, Chinese pharmaceutical chemist /VCG Photo

"Inspired by ancient books, Chinese chemist Tu Youyou discovered a new treatment for malaria, which has helped save lives globally," said BBC.

Tu won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of a novel therapy to treat malaria, artemisinin, which drew the world's attention to the use and applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The prize stated that her work has "led to the survival and improved health of millions of people."

She was also awarded China's highest science honor of 2016.

(Cover via VCG)