Bank of England has unveiled the new £50 polymer banknote which features infamous mathematician Alan Turing.
Alan Turing was best known for helping in the effort to crack the German Enigma codes, something which is credited with bringing World War II to an end years earlier than expected.
The design of the banknote, which features Turing, was expected to be formally revealed on June 23, which is the computer scientist’s birthday.
The £50 banknote is the last of its kind to switch from paper to new long-lasting polymer material which is supposed to make the note harder to counterfeit.
The new polymer set of banknotes will also include a £5 note of Winston Churchill and a £10 note of Jane Austen.
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has said he is “delighted that our new £50 features one of Britain’s most important scientists” and that we should “celebrate the people on our banknotes”.
To mark this historic moment, the Bank of England are flying the rainbow flag from their Threadneedle Street building to honour Turing’s legacy.
We are proudly flying the rainbow flag from the Bank of England’s Threadneedle Street building today in honour of Alan Turing and his legacy to the LGBTQ+ community. https://t.co/nbOlU9kgCU #TheNew50 pic.twitter.com/YhWZ77oPbZ
— Bank of England (@bankofengland) March 25, 2021
Today, the mathematician is widely celebrated for his work which help lay the foundations of modern computing.
However, due to his sexuality, Alan Turing was chemically castrated and barred from working for GCHQ and was eventually driven to suicide.
Following the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights, Turing has gained his rightful place in history and had his accomplishments widely recognised.
A law that pardoned thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted under now-abolished anti-LGBTQ offences was named in his honour, and Turing himself was royally pardoned in 2013.