Alan Turing, the mathematician and computer pioneer who helped decipher German codes during World War II, will be featured on the new design of the Bank of England’s 50-pound note.
“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking,” Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Monday. “Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”
Turing’s code-breaking machine, a forerunner of modern computers, cracked the “unbreakable” Enigma code used by Nazi Germany.
Although his wartime achievements were credited with saving thousands of lives, Turing, a homosexual, faced persecution after the war. In 1952, he was convicted of gross indecency for having an affair with another man and committed suicide after being chemically castrated by the state. He was granted a rare posthumous royal pardon in 2013.
The 50-pound note is the Bank of England’s highest-value banknote and is uncommon in daily transactions. The new note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.
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