Edinburgh Speakers Festival 2016
September 9th, 2016

ALAN TURING DECODED

Alan Turing was an extraordinary man who crammed into a life of only 42 years the careers of mathematician, codebreaker, computer scientist and biologist. He is widely regarded as a war hero who was grossly mistreated by his unappreciative country and it has become hard to disentangle the real man from the story. It is easy to cast him as a misfit, the stereotypical professor. But actually Alan Turing was never a professor, and his nickname ‘Prof’ was given by his codebreaking friends at Bletchley Park.

Dermot Turing takes a fresh look at the influences on Alan Turing’s life and creativity and the later creation of a legend. For the first time it is possible to disclose the real character behind the cipher-text. What was his wartime work after 1942 and why was it kept even more secret than the Enigma story? What is the truth about Alan Turing’s conviction for gross indecency and did he commit suicide? What is the significance of the Royal Pardon granted in 2013?