Katherine Mangu-Ward on Alan Turing, the Father of Computer Science


On June 23, Alan Turing would have been 100 years old. The World War II code breaker and founder of computer science didn't make it to his own centennial, despite his devotion to physical fitness. He committed suicide by poisoned apple in 1954 after being convicted for "acts of gross indecency between two adult men" and chemically castrated as part of a deal to avoid prison.

We are now in the midst of Alan Turing Year, a privately organized worldwide celebration featuring talks, parties, books, and papers. Everywhere, writes Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward, praise of Turing is tempered with anger over the harsh punishment he suffered at the hands of the British state, cutting short a fruitful life.