Alan Turing was crucial to the defeat of Nazism in the Second World War, and we need to making amends for the way he was treated in the years following, writes Dr Julian Huppert MP.
"We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done" - Alan Turing, 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence', Mind, 1950.
If there is one phrase that encapsulates Turing's thinking, his brilliance, and the tragic circumstances in which he was forced to live and die, it is this.
Alan Turing looked at the world around him – exposed what was in front of him – and set a generation of scientists and mathematicians down paths which have changed our world.
The tragedy is that no amount of intelligence and foresight could insulate him from a society which was determined to suppress him; a country which so cruelly mistreated him.
This year we have an opportunity to honour the life of one of the greatest people who has ever lived; one of the greatest Briton's who has ever lived. We have the opportunity, 100 years after his birth, to try and put right that which our country got so badly wrong.
Alan Turing was crucial to the defeat of Nazism in the Second World War and the development of the modern computer.
So important was his contribution to the former - through the cracking of enigma - that he was awarded an OBE, and some of his papers were retained by GCHQ until April of this year.
So important was his contribution to the latter that the Alan Turing prize is the world's most prestigious award for computing, equivalent to the Nobel Prize.
But what has our country done to honour his contribution to our society and the world?
Well, while he was alive, our treatment of Turing was appalling. Convicted of sexual relations with another man, Turing was offered the choice of a barbaric chemical castration or imprisonment. He chose the former in the hope that he could live some semblance of a normal life.
His conviction stripped him of his security clearance, his work and his life. Two years later he died from cyanide poisoning.
And to complete our utter denigration of such a brilliant man, he wasn't even afforded a proper inquest.
The famous apple which, as assumed at the time, was laced with cyanide, wasn't even tested for the presence of cyanide.
Our society made crass and immoral judgements about one its greatest individuals.
The road to reinstate Turing to his rightful place in our society has been long. In 2009 he was afforded a Government apology. This year his famous code breaking machine was placed on a stamp. Across the country, celebrations of his life and work have taken place.
In my own constituency of Cambridge, where he earned his degree and became a fellow of King's College by the age of just 22, his life and work has been digitised so that future generations can remember him. A new plaque was unveiled just last week.
But we need some form of national recognition.
Today, MPs will debate a host of measures, large and small, which could embed Turing and his story into the national conscience.
I am particularly taken by two ideas. The first, to give a full pardon for the 'crime' which Turing was convicted of. The second, to place Turing on a UK banknote.
Both would go some way towards making amends for the way he was treated, and ensuring that every UK citizen is afforded the opportunity to understand his contribution to our world.