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
December 7, 2005Good article nomineeListed
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

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]


Born in Maida Vale, London, Turing was raised in southern England. He graduated at King's College, Cambridge, with a degree in mathematics. Whilst he was a fellow at Cambridge, he published a proof demonstrating that some purely mathematical yes–no questions can never be answered by computation and defined a Turing machine, and went on to prove that the halting problem for Turing machines is undecidable. In 1938, he obtained his PhD from the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University. During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre that produced Ultra intelligence. For a time he led Hut 8, the section that was responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. Here, he devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bomba method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Turing played a crucial role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Axis powers in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic.[11][12] 2A02:C7C:664D:A500:34F3:40B5:17A:C754 (talk) 11:39, 4 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 18:23, 26 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update on "May a photo of Christopher Morcom be added?"[edit]

I have an update on the copyright statuses of the Turing photo and the Morcom photo mentioned here: Talk:Alan_Turing/Archive_4#May_a_photo_of_Christopher_Morcom_be_added?

In commons:Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_in_Category:Alan_Turing, it is established that the author of both photos is either William Matthew Chaffin Jr (1861-1937) or Arthur Reginald Chaffin (1893-1954). Copyright term for both the US and UK lasts for the life of the author + 70 years. So both photos became public domain on 1937 + 71 = 2008 or will become public domain on 1954 + 71 = 2025. Thus, the copyright for the two photos will certainly expire on 2025.

I apologize for not having contacted the archivist, as I promised before, in a timely manner. I should have done that a lot sooner and not put it off for such a long time. I have finally contacted the archivist and they provided an email with useful information about the copyright of the two photos. The email is posted with permission in the deletion request link above. FunnyMath (talk) 15:26, 3 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]