christopher heiser <christopher AT heiser DOT net>
Date Published: September 12th, 2009
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Turing

I'm happy to learn that, in no small part to pressure from the internets that Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially apologized for the "appalling" treatment of codebreaker genius Alan Turing. Probably the first true computer scientist, Turing was instrumental in breaking the German Enigma code machine which most historians agree was a major turning point in the second world war.

Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for being gay and stripped of his government clearances. He was "treated" for his homosexuality through an experimental chemical castration procedure. He committed suicide two years later.

Gordon Brown wrote in the Telegraph:

While Mr Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him...[s]o 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.

Perhaps a small measure of peace to his memory.

by Christopher Heiser on September 12 20:04
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