Turing to be featured on British £50 note

Staff Writer | Jul 17, 2019
Persecuted scientist Alan Turing is to be posthumously honoured in the design of the new banknote.

Turing, considered by many to be the father of modern computing, helped crack the Nazi ‘Enigma’ code during World War II, giving the Allies a significant advantage in the war against Hitler’s Germany.

After the war, however, Turing was persecuted for being gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom. He was convicted for having a relationship with another man in the early 1950s and was forcibly chemically castrated. In 1954, he committed suicide by eating an apple laced with cyanide.

The British government granted Turing a posthumous pardon in 2013.

Turing was selected from a shortlist of 12 for the new banknote, the others including scientist Stephen Hawking; Paul Dirac, whose work laid the foundation for the study of quantum mechanics; Charles Babbage, who thought of the concept of a computer in the 19th century; Rosalind Franklin, who did ground-breaking work on DNA in the 1950s; and Ernest Rutherford, considered the father of nuclear physics.

The new banknote featuring Turing will go into circulation in 2021.


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