Nearly 24,000 Sign Online Petition For Alan Turing

An online petition demanding a posthumous apology by the UK government to Alan Turing - a mathematician and cryptographer who cracked German codes during the Second World War - has gained a strong support from the online community.

More than 23,600 people have already signed to the petition, which called for an apology by the government for the way Turing was treated after he was convicted for gross indecency in the year 1952 - which some believe eventually led to his untimely demise after two years.

Turing was convicted after he admitted of having sexual relationship with a man, and was given a choice of either going to jail, or undergoing chemical castration. He opted for chemical castration, and later on killed himself in 1954.

John Graham-Cumming, the author of the Geek Atlas, has created the petition for providing the justice to the great cryptographer, who designed the ‘Turing’ machine to break German Enigma codes during World War II and is also referred to as ‘Father of Computing’. In addition, Graham-Cumming has also urged Her Majesty the Queen to honour Turing with a posthumous knighthood.

In is blog post, Graham-Cumming wrote: “With Turing's death, Britain and the world lost one of its finest intellectual minds. A government apology and posthumous pardon are long overdue”.

Our Comments

Alan Turing was the greatest computer scientist ever born in Britain. He laid the foundations of computing, helped break the Nazi Enigma code and told us how to tell whether a machine could think. He was also gay. He was prosecuted for being gay, chemically castrated as a 'cure', and took his own life, aged 41.

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