© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A view of the Bank of England and the financial district of London in London, England
LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England announces the design of a new banknote commemorating mathematician Alan Turing, who helped England win World War II with his code-breaking skills but is said to have made it his own. after being convicted of having sex with men. partner.
The new £ 50 ($ 69) note features a picture of Turing, mathematical formulas from a 1936 paper he wrote, laying the foundation for modern computer science and engineering drawings the machinery used to decode the Enigma.
The polymer bill also carries a Turing quote about the rise of machine intelligence: “This is just a foreshadowing of what’s to come, and just a shadow of what’s to come.”
Turing builds on the work of Polish mathematicians, who discovered how to read the German Enigma code, and find a way to crack the code that enhanced Nazi security.
That story was told in the 2014 film The Imitation Game, in which Turing was played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Turing’s work led to the decoding of German navy’s communications, keeping allied convoys away from U boats and playing a key role in the Battle of the Atlantic.
He also developed a technique that resulted in the more complex German cypher Lorenz disruption.
Turing was convicted of profanity in 1952 for having sex with a man and chemically castrated with female hormone injections to avoid imprisonment. He lost his security license to work with the British GCHQ spy agency.
Homosexuality was illegal in Britain until 1967.
Turing used cyanide to kill himself in 1954, at the age of 41, according to an investigation at the time. He was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth in 2013 for charges before his death.
BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said in a statement Thursday underlining Turing’s long record.
“He’s also a gay man and is being treated terribly,” Bailey said. “By placing him on our new £ 50 polymer bill, we are celebrating his achievements and the values he stands for.”
The head of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, said Turing’s image on the note was a landmark moment.
“Turing is loved for his excellence and mistreated for being gay. His legacy is a reminder of the value of accepting all aspects of diversity,” said Fleming. But also the work we need to do to become truly integrated. “
BoE said it will fly a rainbow flag from its main building in Threadneedle Street, London on Thursday.
The £ 50 note is BoE’s highest valued note. It will be in circulation on June 23, Turing’s birthday.
($ 1 = £ 0.7290)
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