Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 9 June 2004

Alan Turing: 23 June 1912 - 7 June 1954

Alan Turing committed suicide on 7th June 1954, so it is just over fifty years ago. I wrote recently about a lecture I attended some weeks ago given by a lady who helped operate the 'Enigma' machines at Bletchley Park, but this sad anniversary has only just come to my attention, courtesy of AndrewSullivan.com, who also provides a link to an online biography of this great man.

It is a sad fact that his undoubted major contribution to the Allied victory in World War II counted for nothing when his homosexual liaison with a young Manchester man was discovered. He was arrested in 1952, when homosexuality was still a criminal offence, and threatened with prison. As an alternative, he agreed to treatment with oestrogen (a female sex hormone) in an effort to inhibit his sexual libido. His homosexuality had precluded his being granted security clearance as early as 1948, thus preventing him from continuing his work with GCHQ, the successor body to Bletchley Park after the war.

Shameful and ungrateful behaviour by this country!!

Rest in Peace, Alan Turing, Sir.

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