To celebrate LGBT+ History Month, the library, in collaboration with Maths Plus, is looking at one of the many figures of the LGBT+ community who changed history. Alan Turing.
Alan Turing is one of the leading mathematicians of the 20th Century. He was a British mathematician and logician who has made major contributions to mathematics, cryptanalysis, logic, philosophy, and mathematical biology. He is responsible for breaking the Nazi Enigma code, helping win World War Two. Furthermore, his work would lead to the creation of the modern computer, and also creating visions for artificial intelligence. His most famous work is the paper published in1950 asking “can machines think?”.
In 1952, Turing was convicted of gross indecency under Section11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. As homosexuality between men was still a criminal offence at this time. Subsequently, he sadly took his own life not long after in1954. It wasn’t until 2009 that the British Government apologised for his treatment with then Primer Minister Gordon Brown saying, “You deserved so much better”. He was pardoned in 2013.
Genius, heroism, self-sacrifice: Alan Turing lived up to some of life’s highest virtues in serving his country, only for the British government to throw him under the bus due to contemporary attitudes about who it was okay to love. Turing’s story is a reminder that “being on the right side of history is about more than just winning a war. It means living up to the values we claim to defend” Source: radicalteatowel.co.uk
Maths Plus sessions are held at Merchiston Library Monday-Thursday 2pm-4pm in Zone 2
For more information on how the Library is supporting the LGBT+ community, and for links to resources check out this article.
By Maya Green