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Alan Turing to feature on new £50 note

Melanie May | 16 July 2019 | News

Proposed design of £50 note featuring Alan Turing, from the Bank of England
Image: Bank of England

The Bank of England has announced that Alan Turing will appear on the new £50 polymer note, expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.

Alan Turing was chosen following the Bank’s character selection process including advice from scientific experts. In 2018, the Banknote Character Advisory Committee chose to celebrate the field of science on the £50 note and this was followed by a six-week public nomination period. The Bank received 227,299 nominations, covering 989 eligible characters from which the Committee drew up a shortlist of 12 options, with Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, making the final decision.

Carney commented:

“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 shortlist included Mary Anning, Paul Dirac, Rosalind Franklin, William Herschel and Caroline Herschel, Dorothy Hodgkin, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, Stephen Hawking, James Clerk Maxwell, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ernest Rutherford, Frederick Sanger and Alan Turing.

The new £50 note will celebrate Alan Turing and his work with computers. As shown in the concept image, the design on the reverse of the note will feature:

Ahead of the £50 launch however, the new £20 will be issued in 2020, featuring the artist JMW Turner.

Issued on 23 June 2021

The £50 note was issued on 23 June 2021 on the 109th anniversary of Alan Turing’s birth.