reveal The Bank of England unveiled the design of the new £ 50 bill for the United Kingdom, which includes a computer scientist and cryptanalyst (Alan Turing).
This will be the last of the bank groups to convert from paper to polymer, and in line with Turing’s work, the set is the safest to date.
Alan Turing was selected to appear in currency in July 2019, in recognition of his pioneering work in mathematics and computer science, as well as his role in deciphering the Enigma machine used by Germany in WWII.
His work helped speed up Allied efforts to read German Navy letters encoded with the Enigma machine, and his work was key to shortening WWII and saving lives.
Turing also played a pivotal role in developing ancient computers at the National Physical Laboratory and at the University of Manchester.
“He was a pioneering mathematician, developmental biologist, and a pioneer in the field of computer science,” said Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England.
The polymeric paper goes into circulation from June 23 this year and includes a number of designs related to Alan Turing’s life and legacy.
The designs include technical drawings of the British bomb, a decoder used during World War II, and a table and mathematical formulas taken from one of the most famous 1936 Turing papers on computable numbers.
Turing died in 1954 at the age of 41 after consuming a cyanide-covered apple, and historians still disagree on whether this was suicide or accidental poisoning.
Choosing to appear in the £ 50 denomination would draw the public’s attention to his life and work, as the most influential example set by Alan Turing is that his work cut the war by four years and saved 21 million lives.
Placing Turing in the £ 50 denomination helps recognize his unprecedented contribution to society and science.
In an interview with the BBC, Turing’s nephew Dermot Turing said: There is still a lot of work to be done to honor Turing’s legacy.
“I think Alan Turing wanted us to think about things like: the underrepresentation of women in scientific subjects, the underrepresentation of ethnic minority and black children in STEM subjects in school, and why they are not being given the opportunities that should be available to them,” he added.