Mike Sampson

Linux Systems Administrator




12 Sep 2009

Britain says sorry to computing pioneer Alan Turing

The British government has finally apologised to the late Alan Turing. For anyone not familiar with the name his achievements in the area of computer science, mathematics and cryptography are numerous. He was a man who gave his country everything and in return his country took everything from him. Better late than never I guess.

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ - in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence - and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison - was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later.


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