DEHS Autumn conference on Security and Intelligence, 27 November 2019

The Science Museum will be opening a new exhibition, ‘Top Secret: from ciphers to cybersecurity’, from 10 July 2019 – 23 February 2020. Tickets are free but can be booked at

From the trenches of the First World War to the latest in cyber security, Top Secret explores over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum Group’s and GCHQ’s historic collections.

  • Trace the evolution of the gadgets and devices used to conceal crucial messages and to decode the secrets of others. Hear from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks and serious crime and discover the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century.
  • Explore the story of Alan Turing and the team of Bletchley Park codebreakers who broke the Enigma cipher in 1941, uncover spy-craft from 1960’s Cold War espionage and challenge your friends and family to become codebreakers in our interactive puzzle zone

Top Secret coincides with the 100th anniversary of GCHQ, the UK’s Intelligence, Security and Cyber agency.

The exhibition has been curated by Dr Elizabeth (Liz) Bruton, Curator of Technology and Engineering at the Science Museum, and DEHS committee member.

To coincide with this exhibition, Liz and DEHS President Keith Thrower have been busy organising a DEHS conference with the title ‘Security & Intelligence’ which will take place on 27 November. The Science Museum has most kindly allowed us to hold the conference in the Dana Centre, located in Queens Gate, which is only a short distance from the main museum building. The only cost will be for refreshments.

The Keynote Address at the conference will be given by Tony Comer, the GCHQ Departmental Historian. Although it is early days, we already have five confirmed speakers and at least three probable speakers. When the programme is finalised, we expect to have eight or ten speakers.

Both the IET History of Technology Committee and the Newcomen Society are co-sponsors.

The conference will conclude at 4 p.m. and Liz will then take us through to the exhibition and give a conducted tour.

I am hopeful that there will be a good turnout of our DEHS members. We are also expecting people from GCHQ, Bletchley Park, the IET, Newcomen Society and several other organisations and colleagues whom we are contacting.

Please make a note of the date of 27 November and let me know by email if you are thinking of attending.

Keith Thrower (DEHS President). Email: