DEHS Autumn conference on Security and Intelligence, 27 November 2019

To book a place for the one-day conference on 27 November, use the booking form [Word document] [pdf]

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 Wednesday 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 £25 for refreshments.

To book a place for the one-day conference on 27 November , use the booking form [Word document] [pdf]

Although it is early days, we already have seven confirmed speakers and two others who are probable.

  • The Keynote Address at the conference will be given by Tony Comer, the GCHQ Departmental Historian
  • Dr David Kenyon, the Bletchley Park historian, will give a talk on the History of Bletchley Park
  • Dr Helen Fry will give the talk ‘Listening-in: what was discovered from senior German POWs in WW2’
  • A senior representative from the National Cyber Security Centre who tell us of the present-day cyber threat
  • Dr Olga Topol, of the Pilsudski Institute in London, will give a talk on the Enigma Double Machine
  • Dr Edward Stansfield, previously a senior manager at Racal Research, is an expert on speech coding and will outline the workings of vocoders
  • Dr Keith Thrower will give a talk on the Fullerphone which was used to provide secure Morse communication across the battlefield in the two World Wars.

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.