The Bank of England's new 50-pound note will feature mathematician Alan Turing, honoring the code-breaker who helped lay the foundation for computer science. The Bank of England's new 50-pound note will feature mathematician Alan Turing, honoring the code-breaker who helped lay the foundation for computer science. Alan Turing, the father of computer science and artificial intelligence who broke Adolf Hitler's Enigma code system in World War II -- but who died an outcast because of his homosexuality -- will be featured on the Bank of England's new 50-pound note. The new note will be printed on polymer and will bear a 1951 photo of Turing, the bank announced Monday. It's expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.
Proposals to introduce new legislation which would pardon gay men convicted under historical gross indecency laws will be brought forward "in due course", the government has said. The so-called Alan Turing law could see thousands of men pardoned for crimes of which they would be innocent today. World War Two code-breaker Turing was pardoned in 2013, decades after he was convicted of gross indecency in 1952. A government spokesman said it was "committed" to the proposal. "This government is committed to introducing posthumous pardons for people with certain historical sexual offence convictions who would be innocent of any crime now," the spokesman said.
Theresa May's government is "committed" to a law that would pardon thousands of gay men convicted under historical gross indecency laws. A spokesperson for Downing Street confirmed to Mashable reports that the legislation, called the "Alan Turing law", would be introduced "in due course". Turing, a World War Two codebreaker, was pardoned posthumously in 2013 after an official apology was made by Gordon Brown, then prime minister, in 2009. The mathematician had been convicted of gross indecency in 1952 after an affair with a 19-year-old man. He took his life two years later.
Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing will feature on the new design of the Bank of England's £50 note. He is celebrated for his code-cracking work that proved vital to the Allies in World War Two. The £50 note will be the last of the Bank of England collection to switch from paper to polymer when it enters circulation by the end of 2021. The note was once described as the "currency of corrupt elites" and is the least used in daily transactions. However, there are still 344 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £17.2bn, according to the Bank of England's banknote circulation figures.
Alan Turing, the scientist known for helping crack the Enigma code during the second world war and pioneering the modern computer, has been chosen to appear on the new £50 note. The mathematician was selected from a list of almost 1,000 scientists in a decision that recognised both his role in fending off the threat of German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic and the impact of his postwar persecution for homosexuality. The announcement by the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, completes the official rehabilitation of Turing, who played a pivotal role at the Bletchley Park code and cipher centre. William Shakespeare was the first historical character to appear on a Bank of England note in 1970. Here's the full list of the historical characters that have appeared on banknotes issued by the central bank in England and Wales over the last five decades.