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Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Science |

Stephen Hawking and other scientists requesting a pardon for Alan Turing

Stephen Hawking and other scientists requesting a pardon for Alan Turing

This year 2012 we barely have 15 days we celebrated the centenary of the birth of the great Alan Turing , mathematician, philosopher, hero of World War II, father of artificial intelligence, however, abused and persecuted in his country for being homosexual, a fact that led to his death after eating an apple poisoned with cyanide. Today, 60 years after his conviction, is still considered, for legal purposes, guilty of a crime, a fact that does not make sense and that has led the scientific community in the UK, led by , published a letter requesting a pardon Turing the British government .

In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph, Stephen Hawking and 10 other representatives of the scientific community in the UK (as Martin Rees and Nobel Laureate Paul Nurse ) have asked the Prime Minister David Cameron to one of the great British minds twentieth century and, therefore, grant pardon to Alan Turing.

We write to support the request for posthumous pardon Alan Turing, one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the modern era.

He led the team to the code descrifradores facilities at Bletchley Park, a fact which many historians agree that managed to shorten the Second World War.

However, successive governments seem unable to forgive his conviction for something then considered a crime, being homosexual, which led him to commit suicide at the age of 41 years.

We urge the prime minister to exercise his authority and formally forgive an iconic British hero.

In 1952, Alan Turing, despite all his accomplishments, had been convicted of being homosexual and, since then, the UK Government has ducked this issue and never has rehabilitated the memory of Alan Turing. In September 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a gesture that, really, was insufficient since issued a statement apologizing for the treatment dispensed public authorities to Alan Turing but although public opinion pressured the Brown cabinet, not was granted a pardon.

In fact, using the centenary year of his birth, he again asked the British Parliament posthumous pardon, and again the UK government refuse again claiming that Alan Turing was tried and convicted for an act that was considered a crime under applicable law at the time. In addition to this letter published in the press, and signed by the “great minds” of the current scientific community in the UK, has issued a formal request to the British Parliament for a second time, consider Turing pardon before the end the political course in June 2013.

According to Michael Grade, former chairman of the BBC and has also collaborated in the writing of the letter sent to Parliament, the treatment by the Turing country is something that all citizens should be ashamed because, despite past 60 years, the country is proud to call genius someone who is unable to forgive for having a sexual orientation to be incorrect by the laws of the 50s.

It’s amazing that, despite the legacy and work of Alan Turing, the British Government in the XXI century has returned to deny forgiveness to one of their national heroes and geniuses. Hopefully the initiative will serve to Stephen Hawking, once the authorities to Alan Turing indulten and give him the place he deserves in the country’s history.

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