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By Kat Dibbits on

Alan Turing on the £50 note: In pictures and reactions

We were honoured to host the Bank of England  for the reveal of the scientific character who would appear on the new £50 note. 

From 989 nominations and a shortlist of 12 potential characters, the Bank whittled it down to just one – Alan Turing, mathematical genius and computing pioneer.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, announces that Alan Turing will be the face of the new £50 note at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester

The breaking news was reported all over the world within minutes of the announcement – and Turing trended TWICE on Twitter, with mentions of the scientific genius himself topping the trending tables, and thousands also tweeting using the hashtag #Turing50.

The celebrations were particularly joyous as Turing’s work was overshadowed during his lifetime by the prosecution for homosexuality that saw him sidelined and cruelly punished.

Many tweeters thought it was particularly fitting that the announcement was made here at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester (we thought so too!)

If you missed the announcement and would like to watch it back, you can do so here:

We’ve published a series of blogs looking at why Turing was the right choice, by Lord Michael Grade who was involved in the campaign to pardon him, at a little-known aspect of Turing’s work in Manchester and our Science Museum Group Director of Science, Roger Highfield, takes a look at all the scientists on the shortlist.


See objects relating to Alan Turing, and find out more about all the shortlisted scientists, at the exhibition Notables: fourteen scientists who shaped our lives.

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