An online petition set at petitions.number10.gov.uk has forced Prime Minister Gordon Brown to issue an apology towards the way Alan Turing was treated in the post war era.
Alan Turing is often considered as the father of modern computer science with numerous important contributions such as the “Turing Test” (that tells if a machine is conscious and if it can think), the “Turing Machine” and others. He also was the scientist that broke the Nazi Enigma. Despite these achievements, he was convicted for homosexuality, forced to take estrogen shots and banned from official research. He committed suicide on 8 June 1954, at age 41.
This online petition has gathered more than enough signatures to force an official apology even though the deadline for signatures was not due until 20 February 2010. Prime minister Brown issued a long apology (read here) that can be summarized in its enclosing words: “we’re sorry, you deserved so much better”.
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