This morning The Bank of England revealed Alan Turing as the new face of the £50 banknote, which will be released into circulation in 2021.
In their search to find an eminent British scientist to feature on the £50 note, a total of 227,299 nominations were sent to The Bank of England. 989 eligible characters were narrowed down to a shortlist of just 12 before Turing was finally selected.
Codebreaker Alan Turing will be on Britain’s new 50-pound currency https://t.co/PcmHWkqre3— TIME (@TIME) July 15, 2019
Other candidates included Rosalind Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Ernest Rutherford and Mary Anning to name a few.
The Bank’s chief cashier, Sarah John said, “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.”
About Alan Turing
Alan Turing is perhaps best known for his outstanding code-breaking which was vital to the Allied victory in WWII.
However, he was also considered a pioneer in computer sciences and the development of the early computer. His work has had an enormous impact on our lives today.
The Bank of England governor, Mark 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 [a] war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”
Sadly, in 1952 he was prosecuted for homosexual acts and died in 1954 from cyanide poisoning. It was determined that his death was an act of suicide.
The new note
Next year the new £20 polymer note will be issued, featuring British Artist, JMW Turner.
This will be the third UK banknote to be made from polymer and will be swiftly followed by the new £50 note in 2021, thus completing the UK’s changeover to plastic banknotes.
These notes are more durable, secure and environmentally friendly than paper notes.
The future of cash
There have been debates in recent years as to whether or not Britain should become a cashless society.
The rise of card and electronic payments means that many see cash as becoming obsolete, with the 1p and 2p coins at the heart of the debate.
In addition to this, the validity of the £50 note has also been questioned, as it is rarely used in everyday payments and is widely thought of as being used by criminals.
The good news for Change Checkers is that the Treasury have confirmed that cash will be around for years to come.
And, with the introduction of the new Alan Turing £50 note in 2021, I think it’s fair to say that cash is still king.
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app