alan_turing2Google is honoring the gay mathematician on what would be his 100th birthday with a Google doodle – a functioning Turing machine, a representation of a computing device.

A Turing machine is a device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules and was developed by the scientist in 1936.

Turing is regarded as the father of computing and artificial intelligence,  and was also a chief scientific figure in the codebreaking operation during the World War II.

Turing was arrested on 7 February 1952 for his affair with a young Manchester man and was found guilty of indecency. He agreed to be chemically castrated (or face imprisonment), which meant being given female hormones. Two years later he committed suicide at the age of 41.

Turing is also being honoured by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation’s annual Homo Heroes Awards with an Alan Turing anti-homophobia award.

Councillor Kevin Peel, Manchester City Council’s lead member for gay men’s issues, said: “Alan Turing’s achievements during his life were remarkable. Had he not been hounded to death by the state because of his sexuality, who knows what other breakthroughs he could have made. Sadly, we will never know.

“This award will recognise those people who are making a difference to victims of homophobia, it will recognise those people who aren’t afraid to stand up and say we won’t tolerate it. It also represents a lasting legacy to Alan Turing, and is a fitting tribute to that great man. I’m sure he would have approved.”

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of the LGF added: “Alan Turing made a monumental contribution to the freedom that every single one of us enjoys in the UK today. What makes Turing’s legacy so tragic is that in the final months and years of his life, many of his own freedoms were denied to him… Had Turing been alive today, he would have rightly been celebrated as a hero.”

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