The latest petition to honour the memory of Alan Turing – the man who invented the modern computer and cracked the Enigma Machine in WWII – calls for his face to be featured on the reverse of the next £10 note.
This is the third petition launched this year to honour Alan Turing to mark the centenary of his birth on 23 June, 1912.
The petition states:
“Alan Turing is a national hero. His contribution to computer science, and hence to the life of the nation and the world, is incalculable. The ripple-effect of his theories on modern life continues to grow, and may never stop.
The current Bank of England £10 notes are Series E, but Series F notes are already in circulation for some denominations. We therefore call upon the Treasury to request the Bank of England to consider depicting Alan Turing when Series F £10 banknotes are designed.”
There is also a petition to erect a statue of Turing on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square.
“We ask HMG, through the GLA, to erect a statue to the London mathematician Alan Turing, on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Through his astonishing code breaking work at Bletchley Park, during the Second World War, he contributed as much as any person who survived to the defeat of Nazism and the shortening of the war. Alan Turing is considered to be the father of computer science, the father of artificial intelligence, and the father of mathematical biology, a record second-to-none in importance today.
HMG, and the GLA, should also consider including, or incorporating into this statue, a tribute to “Tommy” Flowers – another great Londoner and the engineer who designed and built, largely at his own expense, the Colossus machine which finally cracked the Lorenz code.
Because of the nature of the Official Secrets Act, neither man could be truly recognized for their ground-breaking work in their life-time: a statue in Trafalgar Square would help redress that balance.”
The petition to pardon Turing for his conviction for “gross indecency”, i.e. sex with another man, in 1952 is still in effect. Even though Lord McNally dimissed the pardon in February, there are signs there will be a turnabout, and so it is important to keep up the pressure on the government. These petitions, and the support they garner, are an important part of that support.