Via Talking Points Memo:
Turing's contributions to science spanned from computer science to biology, but he's perhaps best remembered as the architect of the effort to crack the Enigma code, the cipher used by Nazi Germany to secure its military communications. Turing's groundbreaking work -- combined with the effort of cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park near Oxford and the capture of several Nazi code books -- gave the Allies the edge across half the globe, helping them defeat the Italians in the Mediterranean, beat back the Germans in Africa and escape enemy submarines in the Atlantic.
"It could be argued and it has been argued that he shortened the war, and that possibly without him the Allies might not have won the war," said David Leavitt, the author of a book on Turing's life and work. "That's highly speculative, but I don't think his contribution can be underestimated. It was immense."We all owe our freedom, in part, to this man. He was treated terribly at the time. Some in our society would treat him the same way today.