Alan Turing to be the face on the new £50 banknote

Castrated with DES for being gay, Alan Turing will appear on the new £50 polymer note

15 July 2019 – Today, Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, announced that Alan Turing will appear on the new £50 polymer note. Making the announcement at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the Governor also revealed the imagery depicting Alan Turing and his work that will be used for the reverse of the note. The new polymer £50 note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021. BOE news release.

“We want to represent as best as possible all aspects of diversity within the country, from race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, disability and beyond. What we have today is a celebration of one of the greatest mathematicians and scientists in the United Kingdom and not just this country’s history but world history.”

“Turing was homosexual and was posthumously pardoned by the Queen, having been convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man. His legacy continues to have an impact on both science and society today.”

Turing was found guilty of gross indecency and had to decide between going to prison or undergoing chemical castration. He chose the latter, a horrifying treatment that involved (DES) hormonal injections.

“I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win.”

“It is almost impossible to put into words the difference that Alan Turing made to society, but perhaps the most poignant example is that his work is estimated to have shortened the war by four years and saved up to 21 million lives. And yet the way he was treated afterwards remains a national embarrassment and an example of society at its absolute worst.”

Selected Press Releases

  • Alan Turing, World War II code-breaker castrated for being gay, is the face of Britain’s £50 note, CNN Business July 15, 2019 – Alan Turing belongs on the UK’s £50 note; now put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, CNN Opinion, July 16, 2019.
  • Alan Turing is crowned the most iconic figure of the 20th centurydailymail, 6 February 2019.
  • Pardon all of the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British “gross indecency” law (only repealed in 2003), and also all the other men convicted under other UK anti-gay, Feb 10, 2015.
  • The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Herothedailybeast, 11.29.14.
  • Alan Turings name restored with film about his work, life and identity,
    oddonion, November 14, 2014.
  • Budget 2014: Alan Turing Institute to lead big data research,
    oddonion, March 19, 2014.
  • The Imitation Game, based on the real life story of Alan Turingdesdaughter, 2015/02/14.
  • Alan Turing granted Royal pardon by the Queentelegraph, 24 Dec 2013.
  • Grant a pardon to Alan Turinepetitions, Closing:23/11/2012.
  • Alan Turing: Inquest’s suicide verdict ‘not supportable’BBC Radio Science Unit, 26 June 2012.
  • How Alan Turing Finally Got a Posthumous Apologyradar, September 17, 2009.
  • PM apology after Turing petitionBBC News, 11 September 2009.
  • Gordon Brown: I’m proud to say sorry to a real war herotelegraph, 10 Sep 2009.

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