The famous mathematician who cracked the wartime enigma code has been chosen to feature on the new Bank of England £50 note. The scientist was also famously prosecuted for his homosexuality, sadly ending his own life soon after with cyanide poisoning.
He was chosen from 227,299 nominations, with the Bank of England’s Governor, Make Carney making the final decision out of 12 shortlisted options. The shortlisted characters, or pairs of characters, considered were Mary Anning, Paul Dirac, Rosalind Franklin, William Herschel and Caroline Herschel, Dorothy Hodgkin, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, Stephen Hawking, James Clerk Maxwell, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ernest Rutherford, Frederick Sanger and Alan Turing. Making the announcement at the Science and Industry museum in Manchester, Carney said,
“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today. As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”
The Bank of England added, “He set the foundations for work on artificial intelligence by considering the question of whether machines could think,” the Bank said. “Turing was homosexual and was posthumously pardoned by the Queen having been convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man. His legacy continues to have an impact on both science and society today.”
The new polymer note will be in circulation from 2021.
Who did you want to see on the new £50 note?
Since the bank of England announced that the public would have a say on whose face will be on the new £50, Brits have been thinking up some hilarious ideas, from England footballer Harry Maguire riding an inflatable Unicorn to Phillip Schofield!
Other more sensible ideas include Professor Stephen Hawking, code breaker Alan Turing and Florence Nightingale. Unlike Phillip Schofield, these all have a much better chance of being the new face of the £50 note as the biggest requirement is that the person has to be dead (unless you’re the queen of course).
Although they are a rarity to most of us, the £50 note is being remade to be a similar polymer as the £10, £5 and £20 note in a bid to make it more hard-wearing and more difficult to forge. This new more durable note will be rolled out in 2020.