LONDON (AFP) – The Bank of England (BoE) yesterday said World War II code-breaker Alan Turing had been chosen to feature on the back of Britain’s new £50 bank note.
“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” BoE Governor Mark Carney said as he unveiled the note at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, northwest England.
“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 BoE chief added.
The BoE said that Turing played a pivotal role in the development of early computers.
Due to enter circulation by the end of 2021, the note shows a photo of Turing taken in 1951.
The Oscar-winning 2014 film The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch brought belated acclaim for Turing’s role in wartime code-breaking.
The BoE is putting new faces on Britain’s bank notes as it switches from paper to polymer, a thin, flexible plastic film that is seen as more durable and secure. The new £20 note, due to enter circulation next year, will feature artist J M W Turner on its back.
The new polymer £5 and £10 notes already in circulation show wartime leader Winston Churchill and author Jane Austen respectively. Queen Elizabeth II features on the front of Britain’s bank notes.