The new 50 pounds sterling banknote bearing the likeness of Alan Turing will be put into circulation in the United Kingdom from June 23, a symbolic day if ever there is one since the brilliant mathematician was born on June 23, 1912.
This £ 50 note has come a long way. Despite his genius, Alan Turing was persecuted all his life by the English authorities, because of his homosexuality. The mathematician is celebrated today not only for his inventions, but also as a symbol of the LGBTQ community. To see him illustrate an object as common as a banknote is therefore a great victory.
An ultra-secure ticket
For the occasion, the Bank of England has multiplied references to Alan Turing, some of which are well hidden. Thus, there are references to the British Bombe, the machine designed by Turing which made it possible to decipher the Enigma messages during the Second World War. A decisive contribution that accelerated the end of the conflict.
The post also presents elements of the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine, the first electronic program capable of storing data, in a way the ancestor of the computer. The date of birth of the scientist is also written in binary code. This polymer note, announced in 2019, complements the current collection, which is the most secure to date.
« Not only [ce billet] is a celebration of scientific genius [d’Alan Turing] who helped shorten the war and influence the technology we still use today, but he also confirms his status as one of the most iconic LGBTQ figures in the world Says Jeremy Fleming of GCHQ, the UK intelligence and information systems security service.
The Turing note joins the Winston Churchill (£ 5), Jane Austen (£ 10) and Turner (£ 20) notes.