Great Britain has decided to make Alan Turing the face of their new £50 note.
The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced earlier today that Turing would appear on the new polymer note by the end of 2021.
Carney praised Turing as an “outstanding mathematician” and “a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”
“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking,” he said in a statement.
Turing is most known for being the father of computers. He worked with UK cryptologists to decipher messages between the Nazis hidden behind Germany’s Enigma code. Turing then published a paper introducing an idea that would later be called the Turing machine. He was thus a pivotal role in developing computers and artificial intelligence.
That said, Turing’s story isn’t a happy one. Turing was convicted of Britain’s anti-gay laws, which still affect many countries throughout the world today. He was then castrated as punishment for being convicted of homosexuality. Two years later, he chose to end his life at the age of 41 by eating an apple laced with cyanide.
While gay sex was decriminalized in England and Wales in 1967, the government only apologized for Turing’s treatment, through British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, after thousands of people signed a petition in 2009. Turing the received a royal pardon in 2014.