AS a Second World War code-breaker, a man who played a pivotal role in the development of early computers and who laid the foundations for development of artificial intelligence, Alan Turing should have been fêted.
Instead his life ended in tragedy – being found dead at the age of 41 from cyanide poisoning after a conviction for “gross indecency” for being homosexual two years before had resulted in him agreeing to undergo chemical castration to avoid prison and losing his security clearance with GCHQ.
In the decades since, there have been great efforts to right these wrongs, with a Royal pardon granted in 2014. It also led to the Government exonerating other men convicted of similar historical indecency offences under what became known as the ‘Alan Turing law’.
Now he has been given the honour as the next person to feature on the £50 note; a fitting tribute to a man who changed society as well as science.