IP: Unveiling of the Alan Turing statue in Manchester (fwd)

From: Eugene Leitl (Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
Date: Thu Jul 26 2001 - 11:44:39 MDT

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 13:40:45 -0400
From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
Reply-To: farber@cis.upenn.edu
To: ip-sub-1@majordomo.pobox.com
Subject: IP: Unveiling of the Alan Turing statue in Manchester

>Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 18:23:32 +0100
>To: farber@cis.upenn.edu, History of Computing Issues <SHOTHC-L@SIVM.SI.EDU>
>From: Brian Randell <Brian.Randell@newcastle.ac.uk>
>A colleague of mine was present when a statue to Alan Turing was unveiled
>in Manchester a few weeks ago - here is a rather nice report he wrote of
>the event.
>>A couple of hundred people gathered in Sackville Park for
>>the unveiling and accompanying speeches. We were, in the terms of one
>>speaker, an "exotic" crowd, ranging from gay rights activists to
>>distinguished mathematicians. It was a comfy chattering classes liberal
>>elite version of "exotic", if you ask me. Sackville Park is the ideal
>>location, bounded by institutes of higher learning on two sides and
>>Manchester's gay "village" on the other two.
>>The project administrator welcomed everyone and introduced the next speaker,
>>local politician Cllr. Pat Karney, known for his fine nose for publicity.
>>The administrator described him as the main conduit for funding and planning
>>permission from the city council, then stabbed him nicely in the back: "I
>>first met him a year ago, but haven't seen him since, and here he is now
>>..." :-)
>>Next was Judith Field, lately President of the British Society for the
>>History of Mathematics, who explained Turing's contribution to work on the
>>Entscheidungsproblem with clarity and gusto. She was followed by Andrew
>>Hodges, Turing's principal biographer, who concentrated on his Bletchley and
>>Manchester days. Field and Hodges unveiled the statue.
>>Best of all, for me, was a speech after the unveiling, given by the
>>sculptor, Glyn Hughes. Hughes sought to explain why he had chosen this
>>particular form. First he pointed out that Turing was a national hero, and
>>national heroes are commemorated in bronze. He then pointed out that
>>Manchester is full of statues of national heroes and you don't notice any of
>>them because they are all up on plinths striking heroic poses. If he had put
>>Turing in a similar position, who would notice him? Instead we have this
>>slight, smaller-than-life (?) pensive figure, holding an apple in his right
>>hand. His name, dates and an encrypted message are inscribed on the bench.
>>In common with statues of heroes in ancient times, a sacrifice was made and
>>buried under this statue. In this case, the sculptor's old Amstrad with his
>>Pictures of the statue are at
>>http://www.btinternet.com/~glynhughes/turing.htm. Pictures of the unveiling
>>are at http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/scrapbook/memorial3.html.
>Brian Randell
>Dept. of Computing Science, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne,
>NE1 7RU, UK
>EMAIL = Brian.Randell@newcastle.ac.uk PHONE = +44 191 222 7923
>FAX = +44 191 222 8232 URL = http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/~brian.randell/

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