Turing himself appears to be better known outside the UK; AppleMac’s famous logo of a bitten apple is an homage to Turing, who committed suicide by biting into poisoned fruit in 1954 after two years of ‘chemical castration’ imposed on him following a prosecution for gross indecency in 1952. Computer scientist John Graham-Cumming recently established a petition calling for an apology from the UK government for the way the mathematician was treated. He has also written to the Queen to ask for Turing to be awarded a posthumous knighthood. It seems the least a grateful nation can do.
There is of course another honour we can offer Turing. As referred to before, the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square, currently plagued by exhibitionists filmed from the Sky Arts Nissan hut (some kind of oblique tribute to Bletchley Park?), will soon be free. So what’s it to be? A Spitfire or Alan Turing on the plinth? At the moment, I am inclining towards the latter. Arise Sir Alan, we are all in your debt.