The author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series
writes about KBO, cocktails, code-breaking, and red lipstick.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alan Turing Honored

Alan Turingmathematician, computer scientist and cryptographer — is widely considered by many historians to be just as influential in winning World War II as Winston Churchill.

Turing's work was cracking German codes. More specifically, creating the "bombe" that translated the coded messages sent by Nazi Enigma machines, a forerunner to the modern computer.

Turing was homosexual — and convicted of "gross indecency" in 1952, after admitting to a relationship with a man.

He was chemically castrated as a "treatment," and his criminal record meant his security privileges were withdrawn and he could do no more work with the UK government.

Two years later he killed himself, at age 41.

There is, of course, no happy ending to Turing's story; but at least last month an apology was made.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a statement apologizing for Britain's treatment of Alan Turing, ending with, "So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work, I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better."

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