The famed Alan Turing was a man of many geniuses. From mathematics to cryptography to computer science, Turing was a visionary thinker in each field leaving a legacy that has had a part in most of our modern inventions, and thanks to a bronze monument in Manchester you can sit and have lunch with him.
Eternally sitting on a public park bench in Manchester’s Sackville Park the bronze statue of the innovative computer pioneer seems to just be waiting for some companions to come sit next to him. Unveiled in 2001, the figure sits on a bench, which is itself made of bronze, holding an apple which is likely meant to signify the biblical fruit of knowledge. Etched on the bench behind him is a rough cipher meant to look like the output of the infamous Enigma Machine which Turing helped crack. When decoded, the phrase reads, “Founder of Computer Science.” This appellation is made a bit more clear on the plaque at the figure’s feet which lists the scientist’s birth and death dates as well as a short list of his accomplishments.
Turing committed suicide after being legally outed for being homosexual making him an important figure in the LGBT community. The statue’s placement seems to reflect this as it is located near to Manchester’s gay culture center.
Whether he is appreciated as a hero of science or the culture wars or both, the round-faced icon makes a great sitting companion and will continue to be well into the future he helped create.
Visit England with Atlas Obscura Trips
London Science Weekend: Medicine and Science in the Press
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning, special access and exploration in London. Accompanied by Times journalists and scientific experts, meet people contributing to the history of medicine and scientific journalism. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and access to some of the best scientific minds available to concentrate on science reporting or medical history.