Sign In

Communications of the ACM


Sorry, Turing

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
Judy Robertson

You may have noticed that the campaign to get Alan Turing a pardon for the appalling way he was treated by Britain has borne fruit. The originator of the campaign, John Graham-Cumming, blogs about his phone call from Gordon Brown, the British PM to tell him the news.  The petition attracted 31,612 signatories, not doubt many of whom were ACM members.  The ACM's response to the apology is as follows: "ACM applauds Prime Minister Brown's statement on the treatment of Alan Turing, writes Dame Professor Wendy Hall, ACM President. ACM has long celebrated the fundamental contributions of Alan M. Turing not only for his instrumental role in British code-breaking efforts that hastened the end of World War II, but for his insights to the mathematical underpinnings of computing and computer science, which continue to drive innovation and produce unimaginable advances in science and technology that have made the world a better place. As a consequence, the most prestigious award in computing and computer science, the A.M. Turing Award, was established by ACM in 1966, and named after Alan Turing. ACM looks forward to joining with other organizations to celebrate the centenary of Turing's birth in 2012."

The full text of the PM's apology is here, ending with the statement "So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better." And so he did. Next stop, knighthood?


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account