Exeter Science Park recognises inspirational scientists

October 3, 2019


Exeter Science Park is recognising some of history’s most inspirational scientists by naming the newest buildings on campus after them.

Vibrant new signs illustrating the contribution to science and technology of Hedy Lamarr, Sir Isaac Newton and Alan Turing now adorn the exterior of the buildings.

The signs were designed by local artist Aylwyn Bowen, who is also behind the gateway signs at the entrances to Exeter which were installed earlier this year.

Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, explained: “Exeter Science Park is home to innovative science, technology, engineering, maths and medical, or STEMM, businesses and we hope these artworks will inspire them to break boundaries in their work, just as these people did.”

The names were chosen by a student from Cranbrook Education Campus after Exeter Science Park ran a competition. Local schools received a booklet with a shortlist of inspirational scientists and were asked to write a short essay on their three favourites.

All students who entered were invited to tour the site while the buildings were under construction and Dr Sally Basker judged the entries.

Artist Aylwyn Bowen said: “My aim in creating the signs was to make them colourful and eye catching at a distance, appealing to business professionals, as well as capturing the imagination of school students who might be visiting the Park.

“Inspiration for the Exeter Science Park signs evolved from the recently launched range of gateway signs for the City of Exeter, as well as display and interpretation graphics typical of the London Science Museum.”

  • Hedy Lamarr was best known for her work as a Hollywood actress, but she was also a talented inventor. She and her business partner, composer and pianist George Antheil, developed a radio guidance system for allied torpedoes, by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals.
  • Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author, widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution.
  • Alan Turing is widely considered to be the ‘father of theoretical computer science’. He was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst and philosopher and was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science.

The Hedy Lamarr, Isaac Newton and Alan Turing buildings are home to a wide range of STEMM businesses, including 8 Technology, Dell Boomi, Maistro plc, Seedata, Theta Technologies, and the Veterinary Pathology Group.

Exeter Science Park’s Grow-on Buildings are partly funded by £4.5m from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) Growth Deal Funding.

Chair of HotSW LEP, Steve Hindley CBE DL said: “It’s wonderful that Exeter Science Park has involved the next generation of potential innovators to nominate scientists they are inspired by to name the new Grow-On buildings after. The three winning names are indeed fitting role models across the breadth of scientific discovery and invention for upcoming students in the area, as well as for the creative tenants already thriving at Exeter Science Park.

“We’re really pleased with the success of the Science Park, which is part of the Heart of the South West’s portfolio of Enterprise Zones which offer business space for the area’s key sectors and enable the locality to retain a greater share of business rates. I wish the current and future tenants every success in their growing enterprises.”