No Coin for Alan Turing?

Started by chrisild, January 11, 2012, 01:46:02 AM

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chrisild

Computers are widely used when designing and making coins - but computer "pioneers" on coins are still not common. And apparently that will apply to the British scientist Alan Turing too, born 100 years ago.

In late 2010, Adriano Parracciani from Rome launched a petition campaign, aimed at various countries and their mints, to issue a Turing coin in 2012:
(Italian) http://www.adrianoparracciani.it/coin4alanturing
(English) http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/coin4alanturing
There is a Facebook page too: http://www.facebook.com/coin4alanturing

In the UK there will be a Royal Mail commemorative stamp http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/jan/02/codebreaker-alan-turing-stamp-approval but no coin, it seems. (Darn Olympics. ;) ) And other countries - well, around here such coins will usually be issued only if the honored person has something to do with the issuing country. Ah, but there is always places such as the Cook Islands or Niue to the rescue ...

Those who are interested in Alan Turing's work and life may find the Heinz Nixdorf Forum interesting this year. The HNF in Paderborn, DE - world's largest computer museum as they say - will have ten special exhibitions between today (11 Jan) and mid-December (16 Dec). Here is some info in English:

Eminent & enigmatic - 10 aspects of Alan Turing: http://en.hnf.de/Special_exhibitions/Turing/Turing.asp
A folder can be downloaded here: http://en.hnf.de/Special_exhibitions/Turing/Programm_Turing_engl_9-1-12_72dpi.pdf

Christian

akona20

Turing was a classic case of no matter what good you do or how intelligent you are a perceived personal "error" will lead to official persecution and in Turing's case a premature death.

chrisild

Agreed, but that should not be an issue these days when it comes to honoring his achievements. I still hope that some country (preferably not a tiny Pacific island :) ) will issue a Turing coin ...

Christian

izotz

Quote from: chrisild on January 11, 2012, 09:23:29 AM
Agreed, but that should not be an issue these days when it comes to honoring his achievements. I still hope that some country (preferably not a tiny Pacific island :) ) will issue a Turing coin ...

Christian

Either do I.

What a pity. I am interested on this topic. As I work with computers, I am open to everything that has to do with coins and them. Anyway, there is not much about it by now.

akona20

Turing suffered a double fate at the hands of the British establishment.

1. He was homosexual and that was a no no. After all there were so many in high places that rumours could not be allowed.
2. After the war many British inventions and discoveries were clouded in a mass of secrecy that hindered both the inventions and inventors. Of course the Americans were not quite as secrecy bond and shamelessly developed their work while giving full credit to American inventors.

Oh and the British establishment went along for the ride.

FosseWay

Quote from: chrisild on January 11, 2012, 09:23:29 AM
Agreed, but that should not be an issue these days when it comes to honoring his achievements. I still hope that some country (preferably not a tiny Pacific island :) ) will issue a Turing coin ...

Quite the opposite, it should mean that he is worthy of greater official recognition now, in more enlightened times, in order (admittedly in a not especially effective way) to make up for the errors of the establishment in the past.

The £10 note is due for renewal in the not too distant future, to bring it into line with the Boulton & Watt £50 and current £20 (embarrassingly I can't remember who's on it -- Adam Smith? -- and I don't have any UK money to hand). Perhaps Turing and his achievements would be a fitting subject for the new note.

Figleaf

There's no doubt that Turing should figure on a coin, as so many lesser figures already have.

For those with a casual interest in computers and Turing and a big interest in an excellent read, I highly recommend Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, a wildly amusing book on a wild variety of topics with a wild variety of characters, including Turing.

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

Prosit

To me that never came to mind.  What I was wondering was how many greater figures were being superceded.
Dale

Quote from: Figleaf on January 11, 2012, 01:33:38 PM
There's no doubt that Turing should figure on a coin, as so many lesser figures already have.
Peter