There’s no way I could do justice to him in this space.
But I do want to focus on the fact that he was gay in a time and place when being gay was illegal. Given a choice between prison and hormonal treatment, he underwent a year of chemical castration between 1952 and 1953 (losing, at the same time, his security clearance). Then, on June 7, 1954, he committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple.
In 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized on behalf of the United Kingdom for the way they treated Alan Turing in the years after World War II.
Unfortunately, in that era, it did not get better.
This year’s Berlin Christopher Street Days is running under the theme “Wissen schafft Akzeptanz” – Knowledge brings acceptance. There’s a cute aspect to the slogan in German: “Wissen schafft” means “knowledge to”, but if you combine the words and drop one of the fs, you get Wissenschaft, which is science.
I’m still not sure exactly what I am going to do today – I will have my camera and am going to wander randomly. Probably an entire day of flying solo, as I not only want to hit up the mainstream CSD, but also the alternative CSD.
Too bad Alan Turing isn’t here to enjoy it.
- Alan Turing Year – The Centenary Celebration
- Alan Turing Home Page – Maintained by the author of Alan Turing: The Enigma.
- Alan Turing – Wikipedia Biography
- Galileo to Turing: The Historical Persecution of Scientists – Wired Magazine article
- Tribute to Turing – Google Blog