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Computing pioneer and LGBT icon Alan Turing will grace the ?50 note in 2021

Alan Turing, one of the pioneering figures in modern computing, and also a tragic one in LGBT history, will soon appear on the U.K.’s ?50 note. He was selected from a shortlist of scientists and bright minds so distinguished that it must have made the decision rather difficult.
The nomination process for who would appear on the new note was open to the public, with the limitation this time that those nominated were British scientists of some form or another. Hundreds of thousands of votes and nearly a thousand names were submitted, and ultimately the list was winnowed down to the following dozen (well, 14, with two pairs; descriptions taken from the Bank of England’s summary):



Mary Anning (1799-1847) – a self-taught palaeontologist known around the world for the fossil discoveries she made in her hometown of Lyme Regis.




Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac (1902-1984) – whose research revolutionised our understanding of the universe’s smallest matter.




Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) – who drove the discovery of DNA’s structure, a critical breakthrough in our understanding of the biology of life.




Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) – who made outstanding contributions to our understanding of gravity, space and time.




William (1738-1822) and Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) – a brother and sister astronomy team devoted to uncovering the secrets of the universe.




Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994) – whose research using x-ray crystallography delivered ground-breaking discoveries which shaped modern science and helped save lives.




Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) and Charles Babbage (1791-1871) – visionaries who imagined the computer age.




James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) – who made discoveries which laid the foundations for technological innovations which have transformed our way of life.




Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) – whose incredible talent for numbers helped transform modern mathematics.




Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) – who uncovered the properties of radiation, revealed the secrets of the atom and laid the foundations for nuclear physics.




Frederick Sanger (1918-2013) – whose pioneering research laid the foundations for our understanding of genetics.




Alan Turing (1912-1954) – whose work on early computers, code-breaking achievements and visionary ideas about machine intelligence made him one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century.



Some of the best intellectual company conceivable, to be quite honest. Each of these people was enormously influential in their respective field, although, as usual, some didn’t get the credit they deserved while living.
Turing was of course an example of this. His work on codebreaking during World War II (alongside his many colleagues at Bletchley Park and beyond, naturally) contributed hugely to the Allied war effort by allowing them to secretly read Axis communications thought to be rendered unreadable by the ingenious Enigma system.

Bidding for this like-new Enigma Machine starts at $200,000
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