I do not share all of Neil McBride's views about computer science, but I welcome the discussion his article will precipitate. He is right to say that computing is now core to our society. It will continue to create jobs and wealth.
More important, it is also a crucial weapon in our armoury for ensuring the future of the planet. Computing will play a key part in optimising the use of physical resources and ultimately their substitution by the digital world. It will be a tool for enabling developing societies to improve their standard of living without undue impact on the environment.
We are approaching the era of mandatory computing in all aspects of our existence. Academic research will play a leading role in this paradigm shift because it is less hindered by existing commercial interests.
We must not be complacent. If this vision is made clear to all, not least to students considering university courses, then academic computing will go from strength to strength.
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