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Campaign for government apology to gay mathematician Alan Turing

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  1. I think an apology would be a very good idea. I can’t really see why the government would object to doing that. I do think we ought to have some sort of major monumnet to Turing in central London- he is one of our greatest heroes.

  2. Well, the ultimate irony:- all these religious retards who use the internet to spread their lies, wouldn’t be able to do so if it wasn’t for this man’s ground breaking work on concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine.

    In fact, we’d probably all be speaking German right about now, as it was his cryptanalytic machine that greatly improved the interpretation of the Enigma codes.

    Funny that, their ability to “express themselves” by trying to stifle science here is because of a gay man and his brilliance at science.

  3. Not only an apology but a postumous knighthood would be in order; this man helped save the UK as much as the brave airmen in the Battle of Britain!!! AND HE WAS GAY OK!!!

  4. Vincent Poffley 5 Aug 2009, 12:49pm

    Recognition of Turing’s achievements is one thing, but if there is going to be some kind of official government apology then why limit it to Turing? Surely it would only be just to apologise to all the men and women arrested for their sexuality prior to 1969? Or do you have to be a mathematical genius to deserve an apology for shocking discriminatory treatment?

    That said, I’ve never really been keen on the idea of public apologies to people long dead from governments consisting of entirely different people to the ones who perpetrated the injustices. How far back should it go? Should the British government issue an apology for the Boer war? Should the French government issue an apology for the Norman invasions? Should the Italian government issue an apology for Caesar’s conquest of Gaul?

    If this happens it will be a purely symbolic at. Much better would be something substantial toward the cause of equality, like, oh I don’t know, full marriage rights or the lifting of the blood ban or the removal of the Bishops from the House of Lords.

  5. “I do think we ought to have some sort of major monument to Turing in central London- he is one of our greatest heroes.”
    Comment by Tony

    Why would it be in London he had no tie to the place. It was in Bletchley Park (Milton Keynes) he built colossus and he worked in Manchester Uni after the war. A statue at ether one of these places is more appropriate.

    Posthumous awards from the establishment that injected him with oestrogen to stop him having sex are worthless and a insult to him.

    They should set up a scholarships in computer science and LGBT studies in his honour along with a real apology.

  6. The centenary of Turing’s birth is 2012 – the same year as the Olympics

  7. I agree with Vincent… for Turing a pardon is too little too late, and merely a symbolic gesture at best.
    With the benefit of hindight most people appreciate that the way he was treated was grossly unjust, and history has already passed a judgement on the prudish social stigma that lead to his suicide. It won’t bring him back though.
    Far better to learn by our mistakes and ensure it never happens again.

  8. Abi1975

    I think a scholarships in in his name would be a good way of honouring is contribution to computer science . . . which is massive and some times neglected.

  9. Simon Murphy 5 Aug 2009, 1:43pm

    There will be no apology forthcoming to Turing or any other gay person jailed or persecuted by the state for their sexuality. An apology is an admission of wrongdoing. To be jailed unjustly is grounds to sue and for compensation.

    How many men were arrested and jailed and named in the press for being gay and then had their lives ruined? It is thousands.

    The government will possibly express sorrow and regret. They won’t apologise as then they will get sued.

  10. Pumpkin Pie 5 Aug 2009, 1:46pm

    Funny how this gentle pacifist is ignored, but Winston Churchill – who was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians in the bombing of Dresden and most likely millions more in Operation Keelhaul (the forced repatriation of Soviet citizens fleeing their opressive regime, for which the punishment is usually death) – is hailed as a hero. Nationalists love their war-mongers, I guess. Anything that hurts everybody but us is fine by them. As far as I’m concerned, Turing is much more of a hero.

  11. Just to keep the records a bit straight (excuse the pun) Alan Turing did not crack the Enigma Code rather he helped crack it. In fact it was the Poles who finally cracked the Enigma Code. But Alan Turing is however a hero to millions of people who do not know about him, as the father of computer science. So much is owed by so many to one man. I salute you Alan Turing as being one of the greatest gay men in history. I agree with the scholarship idea – nice. The Alan Turing Scholarship for Computer Science or something like that.

  12. “Just to keep the records a bit straight (excuse the pun) Alan Turing did not crack the Enigma Code rather he helped crack it”

    It was his theories that led to the creation of the machine that helped crack the code, I never implied HE actually cracked them.

  13. The scholarship idea is a good one. This man was air-brushed out of history for too long. It is high-time that his true place in science, and his contribution to victory in WWII, were acknowledged. To hell with meaningless apologies!

  14. Jean-Paul a.k.a. Bentham 5 Aug 2009, 5:06pm

    “posthumous knighthood” – Mike
    “scholarship” – John k
    “more of a hero” – Pumpkin Pie
    “creation of a machine (computer)” – Will

    You mean a homosexual deserves all this praise, but

    “no apology is forthcoming” – Simon Murphy

    Makes me wonder if the world deserves gifted guys like us.

  15. I think an apology or any of the other ideas would be great- not enough people know about Alan Turing and more people should.

  16. Brian Burton 5 Aug 2009, 6:15pm

    Scholarship is the most sencible way forward. This Crud Government is trying to block wounded Soldiers currently serving in Afganistan from getting proper compenceation. So, who ca hold out much hope for a Dead Hero like Alan Turing.

  17. @Abi1975- I believe there are already monuments to him at Bletchly, Manchester and Guildford. Those celebrate his connection to those places, but I also think a monument in London, as the nation’s capital, could be a national monument to celebrate his contribution to the whole country. After all there’s an empty plinth in Trafalgar Square that would benefit from something sensible instead of all the recent daftness…

  18. Jean-Paul a.k.a. Bentham 6 Aug 2009, 2:23am

    Funny, but it seems to me that David Skinner, Sugar Plum Fairie, Reality Check and Hank do not seem to be interested in this thread at all.

    They are usually so curious and open-minded about the wonders of God’s creation.

    I am truly disappointed in them.

    I am quite certain that they will drop by to pay their respect, after all if it weren’t for Mr. Turing, they would probably be cross-stitching all evening instead of expanding their minds using a gay man’s invention.

  19. I agree with Vincent: why just him (however important he is/was). Although, Vincent: decriminalisation took place in 1967 (not 69) and women were never arrested for their sexuality (lesbian acts were never illegal in this country).

    As for a statue, there is one in Bletlchey Park.

  20. Zefrog – there’s another statue of him in Sackville Park Manchester, sitting on a park bench.

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