The first person being covered on this blog will be none other than Alan Turing, a man that is not only critically important in our history, but in our technology as well. Turing is widely considered the father of computing, seeing as he practically created modern computing and coding. He focused greatly on the sciences and codes, even though during his time science was considered a second class occupation. In his lifetime, the British man did more than simply write papers on ciphers and code breaking, create works such as “On Computing Numbers”. Even his famous Turing Machine, which was and still is an incredibly impressive machine, isn’t the most amazing of the many things he did in his life. No, none of this is even close to the most impressive thing this man achieved or did.
Alan Turing, along with the rest of his small group, cracked Enigma. Enigma was German made enciphering machine, was used by the Axis powers to send codes that had been considered impossible to decipher. Upon building the machine that could correctly and consistently crack the code, Turing and his group allowed the Allies important access to information on attacks and plans made by the Axis powers. This proved to be one of the most vital things leading to the Allies’ victory in the war.
A man such as accomplished as Turing was bound to deserve and receive an incredible amount of respect and admiration, yes? Unfortunately, this was not the case. Alan Turing, brilliant scientist and mathematician “8 Things You Didn’t Know about Alan Turing.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2015., was chemically castrated because of his homosexuality. Such a thing, in his time, was significantly better than the second option to ‘treat’ homosexuality: jail. However, Turing did not fare any better. The castration meddled with his mind and intelligence, rendering him no more than just a fragment of the brilliant mind he had been before his sentence. This ultimately lead to his death– a tragically beautiful suicide. He was found on the floor, a cyanide laced apple held in his hand, sporting a single bite in it.
A man who had done so much for our world, from his work on computing to his large role in the cracking of Enigma, driven to death. Driven to death because of a sentence given to him simply because of his sexuality.
Now people know more about him, and there was even a movie released in 2014 dedicated to him and his team. The movie, titled ‘The Imitation Game’, did him and his team justice in their portrayal. However, his recognition is now many years too late. It cannot make up for the injustice of his treatment in life, and the lack of respect that he rightfully deserved for his accomplishments in not only the field of science, but in his ways of life and attitude, even in the harsh times that led him to death.
Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2015.
“8 Things You Didn’t Know about Alan Turing.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2015.