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Code breaking computer scientist Alan Turing to be celebrated on new £50 note

A new £50 note will celebrate the work of computer scientist Alan Turning, the Bank of England has announced.

The note, which will be made of polymer, will go into circulation in 2021. It will feature an image of Turing taken in 1951 and his signature, taken from the visitor's book at Bletchley Park.

A quote from Turing, given in an interview to the Times newspaper on June 11 1949, will also feature. It reads: "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be."

Turing was selected to feature on the note from 227,299 public nominations, which were narrowed down to a shortlist of 989 eligible figures.

The scientist is celebrated as the father of theoretical computer science and a pioneer of artificial intelligence. He was also one of the Bletchley Park codebreakers who deciphered Nazi messages, during World War Two.

His success in the field was fundamental in securing victory in the Battle of the Atlantic, and widely believed to have shortened the length of the war.

Alan Turing will feature on the new note from 2021. Credit: Alan Turing

Despite his pioneering work, Turing was never fully recognised for his role due the fact he was gay, which at the time was a crime in the United Kingdom. The government later apologised for past treatment of homosexuals and hewas posthumously pardoned by the Queen, having been convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said: "Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today.

"As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and pathbreaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand."

Those considered alongside Turing were Stephen Hawking, Mary Anning, Paul Dirac, Rosalind Franklin, William Herschel and Caroline Herschel, Dorothy Hodgkin, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, James Clerk Maxwell, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ernest Rutherford, and Frederick Sanger.

The current £50 note, which was first issued in 2011, features leading lights of the Industrial Revolution Matthew Boulton and James Watt.