Media Release

Spencer to screen acclaimed Alan Turing docu-drama

Lawrence, KS, June 20, 2012 – In honor of Alan Turing’s upcoming centenary, the Spencer this Wednesday evening will screen Codebreaker, a critically acclaimed docu-drama about the highs and lows of Turing's fascinating life. Before the Spencer screening, curator Steve Goddard will speak briefly about Turing (1912-1954) and the SMA exhibition Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing. As with most Spencer programs, the event is free and open to the public.

Turing, a brilliant British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and pioneering computer scientist whose code-cracking helped the Allied Forces win World War II, and whose conceptual work laid the foundation for modern computing, was also persecuted by the British government for his homosexuality, and ultimately committed suicide.

The London Times has called the Codebreaker "an overdue and thoroughly honorable telling of this dreadful story . . . Not only does it tell a story that has shaped our lives, but it serves as a posthumous public apology for past acts of gross ingratitude."

Turing’s world-changing innovations include the Turing Machine, a conceptual machine that builds on the notion of the algorithm and lays the foundation of modern computing. As a cryptanalyst during World War II, Turing’s breakthroughs in logic allowed him to decipher the German encrypting device known as the Enigma Machine, which was used extensively in communication between German U-boats. Turing was also deeply involved in the idea of “Machine Intelligence,” and he developed a test for artificial intelligence that is still in use today. Late in his career Turing became fascinated with the field of mathematical biology, a field that explores the mathematical underpinnings of morphogenesis, the origins and evolution of biological form.

Media Contacts

Kristina Walker

Kristina Walker
Director of Education
Spencer Museum of Art

Elizabeth Kanost

Elizabeth Kanost
Communications Coordinator