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How Alan Turing Finally Got a Posthumous Apology

You may have aware of the media buzz around the British government has made an posthumous apology to the mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who despite of his contribution in World War II, was dishonored by the conviction of being gay in 1952. The government's apology is perceived as fair an uncontroversial, given Turing's monumental contribution to computer science and that gay is not longer considered a crime today.

Even more interesting is the back-story. It turned out the petition to request for an apology is spearheaded by just one ordinary citizen, John Graham-Cumming! In this blog post, John described how he has used UK's direct democracy channel to mount an Internet campaign, which resulted in and an official apology from the British government preceded by a person phone call from Prime Minister Gordon Brown himself.

John Graham-Cumming initiated and led the successful petition drive to procure an apology to Alan Turing from the UK government. John is the author of The Geek Atlas, CTO of a stealth-mode start-up, and a longtime programmer who has a doctorate in computer security.

2009.09.22 comments

 

 

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