Bank of England Launches Alan Turing Banknote Design

UMMATIMES - The British central bank, the Bank of England, launched a new banknote design to celebrate British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped Britain win the Second World War.

Alan Turing had helped Britain fight Nazi Germany with his ability to crack the Enigma code, but is believed to have committed suicide after being convicted of having sex with a male partner.

The new £ 50 note features a picture of Alan Turing, the mathematical formula from a 1936 paper he wrote that laid the foundation for modern computer science, and the technical drawings for his machine used to decode Enigma. , March 25, 2021.

The polymer banknote also bears a quote by Turing about the rise of machine intelligence: "This is only the beginning of what is to come, and only a foreshadowing of what will happen."

The Turing Machine was based on the work of Polish mathematicians who had figured out how to read German Enigma codes, to find a way to crack the security code of Nazi codes.

The story is told in the 2014 film The Imitation Game in which Turing is played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Turing's efforts led to the decryption of German naval communications which helped allied convoys evade U-boats (German submarines) and were critical in the Battle of the Atlantic.

He also developed techniques that led to the breaking of the more sophisticated German Lorenz code code.

But Alan Turing was convicted of indecent misconduct in 1952, for having sex with a man and undergoing chemical castration with female hormone injections to avoid a prison sentence. He lost his security clearance to work with the British GCHQ spy agency.

Homosexual sex was illegal in the UK until 1967.

Alan Turing took cyanide to commit suicide in 1954, at the age of 41, according to examinations at the time. He was granted a royal pardon by Queen Elizabeth in 2013 for a criminal conviction prior to his death.

"There's something of a nation's character to its money," Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Thursday, highlighting the breadth of Turing's accomplishments.

"He was gay too, and was treated horribly as a result," said Bailey. "By placing it on our new 50 pound polymer banknote, we celebrate what it is, and the values ​​it represents."

The head of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, said the picture of Turing on the note was an important moment.

"Turing was embraced for his intelligence and persecuted for being gay. His legacy is a reminder of the value of embracing all aspects of diversity, but also the work we still need to do to be truly inclusive," said Fleming.

The Bank of England said it would fly the rainbow flag from its main building on London's Threadneedle Street on Thursday.

The £ 50 note is the Bank of England note with the highest value. Circulation will begin on June 23, to coincide with Alan Turing's birthday.