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You are here: Home » News » Alan Turing sunflower experiment

Take part in a mass sunflower growing-experiment!

Manchester Science Festival logo

If your Young Co-operative is based near Greater Manchester, you can get involved in an experiment growing thousands of sunflowers to test the theory of Alan Turing, a pioneering scientist who was associated with the city.

Alan Turing directed the computing lab at the University of Manchester. As well as developing early computer Mk1, he helped crack the Enigma code in World War II. Turing was fascinated by mathematical patterns found in leaves and seeds and, when he died in 1954, was working on a theory that sunflower heads featured Fibonacci number sequences, which begin with zero and one, each number being the sum of the two numbers before it.

The experiment is being run by the University of Manchester and Museum of Science and Industry as part of the annual Manchester Science Festival.

Seeds should be planted in April and May, and the result of the experiment will be unveiled during the festival in October.

Find out how to get involved at