Talk:Alan Turing

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Good articleAlan Turing has been listed as one of the Mathematics good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
In the newsOn this day... Article milestones
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May 3, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
August 23, 2007Good article reassessmentKept
In the news News items involving this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on September 12, 2009, and December 24, 2013.
On this day... Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on May 28, 2004, May 28, 2005, May 28, 2009, May 28, 2010, June 23, 2012, May 28, 2013, May 28, 2015, May 28, 2016, May 28, 2017, November 30, 2021, and November 30, 2022.
Current status: Good article

His role at Bletchley Park is overstated[edit]

Turing was often mistakenly credited with the achievements of Tommy Flowers and Polish codebreakers. His nephew stated that his role during World War II was considerably overstated: ( (talk) 21:26, 21 March 2022 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Daily Mail is not a reliable source. Really. The story has factual errors. Skyerise (talk) 21:29, 21 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And not a single one of the others could have built the Bombe. Nothing but whinging! Skyerise (talk) 21:31, 21 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Poland created the Bombe. ( (talk) 18:41, 13 July 2022 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Is Tommy Flowers even mentioned in this article? That seems a strange omission — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:27, 17 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you read the article you might find out? That seems a strange omission. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:45, 13 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 19 June 2022[edit]

Change "Unknown to the committee, the theorem had already been proven, in 1922, by Jarl Waldemar Lindeberg.[1]" to "Unknown to Turing, the theorem had already been proven, in 1922, by Jarl Waldemar Lindeberg. Despite this, the committee considered the work worthy of consideration for the fellowhsip."

Sources: Prof by Dermot Turing page 69, Alan Turing: The Enigma p 113. (The source cited in the current article refers to a section in Hodges' book which is not relevant to the claim. MasterDexi (talk) 21:57, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:10, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Hodges 1983, pp. 88, 94

Conviction for "indecency" or "homosexuality"?[edit]

There was discussion to change a heading from "Conviction for indecency" to "Conviction for homosexuality". Don't want to edit-war, so continuing conversation about this from edits on 29 June 2022:

Quohx > Change section title from "convicted of indecency" to "convicted of homosexuality" because that's more consistent with the section text (ex: "Homosexual acts were criminal offences in the United Kingdom at that time,[1] and both men were charged with "gross indecency" under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.").

Martinevans123 > I understand your argument, but when someone was charged with indecency, they were convicted of indecency; it was (and still is) not possible to prosecute someone for "homosexuality".


I agree he was convicted OF indecency. And FOR "indecency" (the crime). Just not FOR his indecency. He was convicted OF indecency FOR (his admission of) homosexuality.

So the current title is "conviction FOR indecency". I don't like it because it implies that his homosexuality was indecent in the opinion of this article (ex: WP:NPOV).

How about we compromise on, say, "Indecency conviction for homosexuality"? Suggestions welcome. Quohx (talk) 02:59, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It was not illegal at the time, in England and Wales, to be homosexual. It was illegal to engage in certain sorts of homosexual behavior. Without in any way approving of those particular laws, we do still need to be accurate about what exactly they forbade. --Trovatore (talk) 06:41, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If Turing had been a woman, living in 1612, and had been convicted of witchcraft, would you also want to change that in a section heading? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:46, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Don't think that analogy is apt. Paul August 14:07, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree it's not perfect. But no-one would want to change that word to "cooking toads in a cauldron", just to make it less offensive, would they? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:20, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem, as I see it, is that, unlike "wichcraft", "indecency" here has two different meanings. Paul August 17:13, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah yes, agreed, there is also that. Many words have a different meaning in the legal context. But that's not necessarily a good argument for not using them. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:57, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That the "indecency" he was convicted of was for engaging in homosexual acts is important and ought to be reflected in the title. Paul August 14:07, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changed the title to "homosexuality and indecency conviction". I think it's a fair title given that the section also discusses his relationship and sexuality as well as his conviction and castration.

About witchcraft analogy, I agree it's a good analogy. To go a step further, today you wouldn't say someone was convicted "for witchcraft", because that would imply you think witchcraft is real and they were actually doing it. You would say they were convicted "of witchcraft" because that was the name of the crime they were convicted for. At least in US vernacular English. Quohx (talk) 14:49, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Autopsy Report[edit]

Here's a link to Turing's autopsy report: (talk) 18:59, 19 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the UK that's called a "post-mortem". That's probably the word that should be used in this article as we have {{Use British English|date=June 2020}} (although the suppoprting BBC report never mentions either word). I don't think it's possible to use that post-mortem report as a reference because of WP:PRIMARY. But it is interesting to see what underlies the comments made by Prof Jack Copeland. I assume that the report was not made public at Turing's inquest. (talk) 19:12, 20 November 2022 (UTC) p.s. how do we know that image of the report is 100% genuine?Reply[reply]