The three people vying to be on RBS's new Scottish banknote: James Clerk Maxwell, Mary Somerville, and Thomas Telford

Lynsey Barber
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Sir Walter Scott is one of Scotlands' bank note faces (Source: Getty)

James Clerk Maxwell, Mary Somerville, and Thomas Telford are the faces battling it out to appear on the new Scottish banknote.

The three names have been shortlisted from 128 names nominated to appear on the new £10 polymer note from mid-2017. They had to be historical figures who made a contribution to science.

James Clerk Maxwell

Maxwell worked in mathematical physics and discovered the theory of electromagnetism which helped Einstein with his theory of relativity. Born in Edinburgh, he became professor of experimental physics at Cambridge for fifty years and his discovery greatly influenced the development of technology such as TV, radio and radar.

Mary Somerville

Somerville, after who Somerville College at University of Oxford is named, was one of the first women to be admitted to the Royal Astronomical Society and was called the "queen of nineteenth century science" by one newspaper after her death. She published several books on mathematics, science, astronomy and geography, with one credited with helping the discovery of the planet Neptune.

Thomas Telford

Telford is known as the godfather of civil engineering and dubbed the "Colossus of roads", building many roads, canals and bridges and the town of Telford was named after him.

A public vote will run from tomorrow until February 7 to decide on the RBS Facebook page.

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