23 June 2014
If he were alive today, it would be Alan Turing’s 102nd birthday! He was born on this day in 1912, but sadly never made up even half as many years, dying from cyanide poisoning – thought to have been self-inflicted – in 1954.
Although perhaps not as well known as other scientists such as Albert Einstein, Turing arguably achieved just as much and is known by many as the father of modern computing. He was a pioneer and a British legend with an incredible mind.
The code breaking that Turing and his fellow scientists did during World War 2 helped to unravel messages between German U-boats, saving British lives. Despite this, he was later arrested for being gay – a criminal offence at the time – and lost his security clearance.
Turing once said that “we can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done”. It’s an important reminder that, no matter how much progress we make in life, it’s always possible to achieve more and change things for the better in the time that we have.