Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Alan Turing

Today would have been Alan's 101st birthday. Sadly Alan only lived until he was 41. His life came to an end on June 7, 1954 when the young Alan committed suicide by cyanide poisoning. Alan was a brilliant mathematician and founder of computer science. He was also a gay man. A gay man treated very badly by society. In 1952 Alan was arrested for homosexuality. In order to avoid going to prison he accepted injections of oestrogen. This "treatment" was used to reduce a person's libido and is essentially chemical castration. Following his arrest he lost his security clearance and his job. There have been petitions introduced to get Turing pardoned but the British government has not done so yet. In 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an apology but that is as far as it has gotten.

Alan Turing (1912 - 1954)
Here are some links related to Alan Turing.

The Alan Turing Home Page
BBC History - Alan Turing
Alan Turing Biography: Computer Pioneer, Gay Icon
Stephen Hawking Calls for Alan Turing's Pardon

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