Code-breaker Alan Turing to feature on new £50 note

The Turing note will enter circulation in 2021

Monday, July 15, 2019

Alan Turing has been chosen to feature on the new £50 note for his work as a computer scientist and code-breaker during the Second World War.

The Bank of England received a total of 227,299 nominations of deceased people who have contributed to the field of science in the UK.

However, mathematician Mr Turing emerged the victor, ahead of other scientific luminaries including palaeontologist Mary Anning and physicist Stephen Hawking.

While Mr Turing is perhaps best known for his work at Bletchley Park breaking the German Enigma code machines, he also played a pivotal role in the development of early computers and artificial intelligence.

He was gay, and was chemically castrated after being convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with another man in 1952.

In 2013 - 59 years after his death - he received a royal pardon from the Queen.

Mark Carney announced the new note at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester

Bletchley Park spokeswoman Erica Munro told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham the scientist was “fundamental” during the war.

“His skills, his ability and his genius really drove the work that went on here,” she said.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said Mr Turing’s work had “an enormous impact” on modern society.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as [a] war hero, Alan Turing's contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking,” he said.

“Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

The polymer note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.

It will feature a quote from Mr Turing: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

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