Updated: Saturday, 16th November 2019 @ 10:52pm

E-petition to have Manchester World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing on £10 note on anniversary of death

E-petition to have Manchester World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing on £10 note on anniversary of death

By Sophia Rahman

An e-petition to have Manchester’s World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing’s likeness printed on the ten pound note gained 15,000 signatures today, the anniversary of his tragic death.

This Sunday, Manchester’s annual parade will celebrate Turing’s contributions to modern society with a three metre square replica of the programmer’s ‘Baby’ computer, for which he is considered the father of computer science.

Thomas Thurman, the man who started the campaign stated: “Alan Turing is a national hero. His contribution to computer science, and hence to the life of the nation and the world, is incalculable. The ripple-effect of his theories on modern life continues to grow, and may never stop.”

If successful, the petition will see the image of Charles Darwin replaced with that of Turing, however the petition will have to reach 100,000 before March 2013 to be debated in parliament.

Writing in the Telegraph, Dr Sue Black, a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Computer Science at University College London, said:

Despite his contributions, Turing did not receive the recognition and plaudits that he deserved while alive. Putting him on the £10 note is a small but important step towards finally redressing that.

John Leech, Lib Dem MP for Withington, said: “Although I am happy to support the campaign to get Alan Turing on the new ten pound note I do feel that putting pressure on the Government to issue a posthumous pardon or disregarded conviction would contribute more towards giving him the recognition he deserves as a brilliant mathematician and the justice he deserves as one of the thousands of gay men that were convicted under prejudicial laws in this country.”

Mr Leech is currently pushing forward with his campaign to have Turing posthumously pardoned for ‘gross indecency’, for which the petition can be found here.

Turing was a key code-breaker in the Enigma team at Bletchley Park who hastened the end of the Second World War.

After being burgled in 1952, the scientist admitted to the police that he was in a homosexual relationship at a time when it was still illegal.

He was subsequently convicted of ‘gross indecency’ and accepted chemical castration over being sent to prison.

On this day in 1954, Turing was found dead at his home, an inquest found that he had poisoned himself with cyanide.

In 2009 former Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology to Turing’s family calling the treatment he had received ‘appalling and utterly unfair’.

Turing was convicted in 1952 of gross indecency with another man and accepted chemical castration over being sent to prison.

On this day in 1954, Turing was found dead at his home, an inquest found that he had poisoned himself with cyanide.

The petition can be found here.

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