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Computer scientist Alan Turing to be face of new £50 note

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15/07/2019
Code breaker and computer scientist Alan Turing will be the face of the new £50 polymer note, the Bank of England has announced.

The mathematician, who died in 1954, is considered a pioneer of modern computing and artificial intelligence. He devised code-breaking machines during World War II.

In 2018, the Banknote Character Advisory Committee chose to celebrate the field of science on the £50 note and this was followed by a six week public nomination period.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, 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 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.

Sarah John, 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.”

The new £50 note will enter circulation by the end of 2021.

 

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