Alan Turing’s Manchester at The Portico Library

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Author Jonathan Swinton.
Jonathan Swinton.

Alan Turing's Manchester at The Portico Library, Chinatown 15 April 2019 Tickets from £4 — Book now

New non-fiction book Alan Turing’s Manchester looks into the life, both professional and personal, of the famous codebreaker and computer expert and his time spent at the University in the Rainy City between 1948 and his death in 1954.

Himself a mathematician, the tome’s author Jonathan Swinton (who’s also appearing at Altrincham Word Fest in May) will talk about his research into this great scientist and Mancunian icon, recently voted the most important person of the 20th century in a BBC poll. Having posthumously received an official Government apology in 2009 from the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Turing is now largely recognised as a modern martyr, and his image greets travellers entering Manchester from the M56, and contemplating Sackville Park close to the Gay Village and Whitworth Street University of Manchester buildings.

Author Jonathan Swinton recounts Alan Turing’s time in Manchester, along with maths and machine intelligence and wire-women and Wittgenstein

The book explores the complexity of a smog-bound, bombed-out post-war Manchester busy creating the computer, and Turing’s place in it for the six years from 1948, following him from the University seminar rooms to the pick-up sites of Oxford Road, notably the Regal Cinema (now the Dancehouse Theatre), where Turing met the young man who would ultimately lead to his downfall in an era when homosexuality was illegal.

Alan Turing’s Manchester author Jonathan Swinton – who was drawn to Manchester in 2002 and has written numerous papers on Alan Turing’s work on Fibonacci patterns and in 2012 conceived the international citizen science project Turing’s Sunflowers – recounts all this, along with maths and machine intelligence and wire-women and Wittgenstein. He says: ‘I slip in some of the mathematics, computing and biology that brought me to Turing in the first place, so there’s artificial life here. But real life too.’

Alan Turing's Manchester at The Portico Library, Chinatown 15 April 2019 Tickets from £4 Book now

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