On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Zoe Hardman 12pm - 4pm
15 July 2019, 12:10 | Updated: 15 July 2019, 12:28
Alan Turing was a mathematician who cracked the wartime Enigma code.
The nation will soon be introduced to a brand new £50 note set to feature scientist and codebreaker Alan Turing.
Famous for helping to crack the Enigma code and pioneering the modern computer, Alan is celebrated for his work that was vital to the Allies in World War Two.
He was nominated back in 2018 after the Banknote Character Advisory Committee - which decides who appears on notes - chose to celebrate the field of science.
This was followed by a six week public nomination period where 227,299 nominations were put forward covering 989 eligible scientists.
A shortlist of 12 characters were then put forward by a committee made up of science experts.
They were Mary Anning, Paul Dirac, Rosalind Franklin, William and Caroline Herschel, Dorothy Hodgkin, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, Stephen Hawking, James Clerk Maxwell, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ernest Rutherford, Frederick Sanger and Alan Turing.
Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, had the final vote.
Describing the scientist as a “war hero”, Mark has since revealed the reasons behind his decision.
"Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” he said.
"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."
The Bank praised the mathematician for his research as well as the impact he had on the field of science in general.
Turing was prosecuted for being homosexual in 1952, he was then chemically castrated before dying of cyanide poisoning two years later.
In the last of the Bank of England’s collection to switch from paper to polymer, the £50 note will go into circulation by the end of 2021.
Jane Austen is still the only woman, apart from the Queen, to be seen on any of the four notes.