Alan Turing was a computer pioneer, mathematician and code breaker during World War Two. He is celebrated for his outstanding code-cracking work that was vital to the Allies. The work carried out by Alan and others at Bletchley Park in breaking the Enigma code saved millions of lives during the war. The effort approximately cut the war short by three years and has impacted millions of people lives ever since.
Queen Elizabeth II currently features on the £50 note. The change in design has been brought about as part of the Bank of England switch from paper to polymer. The banknote is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.
The £50 note is the note that is least used in daily transactions. Despite this, there are still 344 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £17.2 billion. Mark Carney from the Bank of England commented that; “Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today.”
The Bank asked the public to make suggestions for the scientist whose face should appear on the new £50 note. Over the course of six weeks, the Bank received 227,299 nominations, suggesting 989 eligible scientists. The Bank of England committee drew up a shortlist. This included:
- Mary Anning.
- Rosalind Franklin.
- Dorothy Hodgkin.
- Ada Lovelace.
- Charles Babbage.
- Stephen Hawking.
- James Clerk Maxwell.
- Ernest Rutherford.
- Frederick Sanger.
- Alan Turing.
The governor made the final decision that Turing would feature.
Sarah John, Bank of England chief cashier said: “The strength of the shortlist is testament to the UK’s incredible scientific contribution. The breadth of individuals and achievements reflects the huge range of nominations we received for this note and I would to thank the public for all their suggestions of scientists we could celebrate.”
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