UK Lawmakers Demand £10 Banknote Commemorating Alan Turing

Started by Bimat, June 30, 2012, 06:35:23 PM

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UK lawmakers call for Alan Turing banknote tribute

Updated 12:48 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, 2012

LONDON (AP) — A group of British lawmakers called Wednesday for World War II code-breaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing to be commemorated on a banknote.

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Turing, who helped crack Nazi Germany's secret codes by creating the "Turing bombe," a forerunner of modern computers.

He also developed the "Turing Test" to measure artificial intelligence.

Several legislators from the main parties proposed Wednesday that Turing appear on the next version of the 10 pound (about $15) note. The most recent version features Charles Darwin, but a redesign is due in the next few years.

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.



Alan Turing added to British banknote shortlist

The campaign to honor the gay British war hero on a Bank of England banknote has received its first official Government response as Turing is added to the bank's shortlist.


The campaign to have World War II mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing feature on a British banknote has received its first official government response after receiving over double the required response and Turing has been added to the Bank of England's shortlist.

UK Government e-petitions are responded by a relevant Government department if they garner more than 10,000 signatures and the Alan Turing banknote campaign has garnered more than 22,000.

The campaign received the following response, 'The Bank of England has been including historic characters on its notes since 1970.'

'The Bank welcomes suggestions from members of the public for individuals who might feature on future banknotes, and publishes a list of these suggestions on its website. These suggestions inform the process when a new note is under consideration.

'The mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing [now] features on the list ... This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.'

Turing was instrumental in breaking the Nazi's Enigma Code but killed himself at age 41 in 1952 by eating a cyanide laced apple with cyanide after being prosecuted for having sex with another man and chemically castrated.

A campaign to have the war hero pardoned of his 'gross indecency' conviction started in December last year has received nearly 37,000 signatures.

Turing has previously been honored by appearing on a British postal stamp and a limited edition of the Monopoly board game but plans to immortalize him on screen have been dropped by Warner Bros. after Leonardo DiCaprio said he was no longer interested in the project.

Turing was praised by British spymaster Iain Lobban earlier this month.

Liberal Democrat Lord Sharkey moved a bill in the House of Lords to pardon Turing in July but it is yet to be voted on.

The Bank of England banknote shortlist also includes another noted LGBT person – the playwright Oscar Wilde.

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.


I am usually not too keen on popular initiatives to honour individuals - many depend on name recognition, rather than merit. However, in the case of Alan Turing, I agree. The man was a weirdo in many respects, but he's also one of the major forces that brought us the computer as we know it (which in my opinion is a greater merit than deciphering nazi code, rather a by-product of his thinking).

As George Bernard Shaw put it so well: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." Let's honour the nonconformists, the outcasts, the iconoclasts, the unreasonable. We depend on them.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Alan Turing described the first General Purpose Computer that is widely used today, and created alogrithms that describe their behaviours ... he also put forth the famous "Halting Problem" that goes long way in understanding that being inside the universe we cannot determine all of its behaviour's  ... a different way of stating the "Godel's incompletness Theorem"

On the Enigma itself, Alan has quite a bit of headstart with work done by others which he cleaverly enhanced
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