Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Alan Turing Campaign

Our member Dean Morrison has set up a site to campaign for greater recognition in Hastings and St Leonards for Alan Turing who was brought up here for the first nine years of his life. He was born at a nursing home in London in 1912, but lived with an uncle in Hastings and St Leonards from 1913 to 1921, before being sent off to a boarding school. His parents did not return permanently from India until 1926. He is reckoned one of the leading mathematicians of the 20th century, a pioneer of computers, and a key figure in decyphering the German Engima codes in the second world war.

The Prime Minister recently responded to a petition by issuing an apology to Turing, and to all other gay men who were subjected to enforced hormone treatment, in the rather repressive 1950s period, which led to his premature death in 1954.

The year 2012 will thus be the centenary of his birth, a date well worth celebrating.

Next year 2010 is the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Society, and the Essay series "Enlightenment Voices" on Radio 3 is this week celebrating the life of another great scientist, Robert Hooke.

I get the impression that the coverage of science in the press during this Darwin anniversary year has greatly improved, and The Times is now offering a new montly science magazine Eureka from tomorrow.

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