WW2 codebreaker, Alan Turing, set to appear on the UK’s new £50 note

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The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, in an announcement at the Science and Industry Museum of Manchester today, revealed that Alan Turing will appear on the new polymer £50 note that will enter circulation in 2021. Turing is famous for his code breaking work during World War Two and developing the Turing test.

Discussing the selection, 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 UK has been replacing the current stock of pound notes with polymer notes which are expected to last much longer than the old versions. The Bank of England took the opportunity to refresh the designs of each of the notes, and Turing has now been selected for the new £50 note.

Prior to his selection, Turing was on a shortlist of other personalities that have contributed to science. The shortlist included 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. The full note design will be revealed when it’s closer to entering circulation.

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