Monday 15 July 2019 11:29 am

Code-breaker Alan Turing revealed as new face of £50 banknote

Scientist Alan Turing will feature on the new £50 note design, Bank of England governor Mark Carney announced this morning.

Turing, the “father of computer science and artificial intelligence, was chosen from 989 characters nominated by the public during a six-week period.

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He was best known for his work devising code-breaking machines during the Second World War and also played a key role in the development of the first computers at the National Physical Laboratory and the University of Manchester.

Speaking at the Manchester Science and Industry Museum today 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 other characters that made the final shortlist 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 Ramanujanm, Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Sanger.

Bank of England chief cashier Sarah John added: “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 like to thank the public for all their suggestions of scientists we could celebrate”.

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The new £50 note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.

Main image credit: Bank of England