Acclaimed mathematician Alan Turing provided a blueprint for the modern computer and helped break German codes during World War II. As a reward, the British government chemically castrated him to "cure" his homosexuality, driving Turing to suicide. Regrettable? Not officially.

Programmer John Graham-Cumming has launched a petition on a government website to apologize for prosecuting Turing for homosexuality. It took a full 13 years after Turing killed himself via cyanide-laced apple before Britain repealed its laws against homosexuality; it's now been 55 years since his death. In the meantime, Turing has come to be revered within his field as a pioneer — perhaps society has finally elevated its view of both geeks and gays enough that he can now get some real respect outside of it.

[via BoingBoing]

(Pic: Ian Usher)