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article imageLeading British Academics Killed In Car Crash

By Michelle Duffy     Jul 8, 2007 in Science
A professor of artificial intelligence and his ex wife, a leading geneticist, have been killed in a car crash which happened between Cambridge and London on the M11, in the UK
Professor Donald Michie, 84, and his ex-wife, Dame Anne McLaren, 80, were found in the wreck of their car which had apparently left the carriageway on the M11 and gone into ditch.
The couple's deaths have come as a giant blow to both the world of science and technology as the Professor was about to give an all important lecture at the University of Edinburgh which he was preparing for. His ex wife, Dame Anne McLaren was also a first officer of the Royal Society and a well respected member of the King's College and Christ College and had also worked closely on the Warnock Commission were they have primarily advised on the science of genetics.
The Professor had also been a key figure in the code breaking team at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. He was also responsible for the cracking of the German teleprinter cipher which helped bring the Nazi movement down.
The couple had three children together and the Professor had a son from a previous marriage.
Their son, Jonathan said of the loss of his parents:"This is a tragic event especially since Donald was preparing a major lecture to be delivered at the University of Edinburgh on the history of machine intelligence. The one consolation in the case of Anne is that her 80th birthday this year had been widely celebrated and honoured by both her Cambridge institute and both her Cambridge Colleges."Friend of the couple and fellow colleague at the School of Informatics in Scotland, Professor Michael Fourman, said of the Professor:"Donald was one of the early leading proponents of artificial intelligence and robotics and was the founder of both the experimental programming unit and the department of machine intelligence at Edinburgh in the 1960s."They will, amongst friends, co-academics and other heads of the science and human medicine world, be greatly missed.
They had both been inspirations to many in their field.
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