Welcome to my blog! You can find out about the influences and random thoughts that feed my ceramic work. Comments are most welcome.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Alan Turing Memorial (1912 -1954)

I happened upon the Alan Turing Memorial the other day, appropriately situated in Sackville Park between the Gay Village and the University of Manchester.

Alan Turing, the father of computer science, developed the concept of the Turing machine which is considered as the basis for the modern theory of computation.  In World War Two, he worked as part of the team at Bletchley Park (the Government Code and Cypher School headquarters) that cracked the Enigma Code and thus saving thousands of lives.  In 1949, he moved to The University of Manchester, where the first digital computer 'The Baby' was developed.  He also carried out work on artificial intelligence.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there but in his persecution and ultimate 'suicide' due to his homosexuality which was illegal back in 1952.  To avoid prison he accepted injections of oestrogen to 'neutralise his libido'.  In 1954, he was found dead, a bitten apple beside him.  It is believed that he committed suicide, ingesting suicide from the apple. However, the apple was never tested for poison and some believe that he may have been assassinated as he posed a 'security risk'.

What a hateful way to end such a valuable and contributing life. Thankfully, times have moved on in Britain and homosexuality is no longer 'illegal' or hidden and denied.

No comments:

Post a Comment