DCSIMG

Turing warning

When I started to work with computers in St Andrews University half a century ago, the afterglow of Alan Turing’s brilliance still lit what was then a new field of research.

In the early 1960s, homosexuality remained illegal but that did not stop any of us, gay or straight, from being outraged at the treatment which led to Turing’s suicide.

Yet, I think that the recent calls for a posthumous pardon would be a mistake because his conviction for conduct accepted by all save a few backwoodsmen no longer “damages” his reputation. It stands as a warning to Church and state of “the misuse of criminal sanctions, the cruel intolerance of earlier times and the welcome evolution of moral and cultural norms”.

Dr John Cameron

Howard Place
St Andrews, Fife

 

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