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New U.K. Currency Honors Alan Turing, Pioneering Computer Scientist and Code-Breaker

By NPR Online

March 26, 2021

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The Bank of England (BoE) has unveiled a new £50 banknote featuring pioneering mathematician, code-breaker, and computer scientist Alan Turing, which will enter circulation on June 23, his birthday.

BoE's Alan Bailey said Turing's work in computing and artificial intelligence "has had an enormous impact on how we all live today."

The bill is one of a series of polymer banknotes that are harder to counterfeit.

Turing's nephew Dermot Turing said his uncle would have especially appreciated the currency for highlighting his computer science achievements.

Said Dermot Turing, "I think Alan Turing would have wanted us to think about things like underrepresentation of women in science subjects, underrepresentation of Black and ethnic minority kids in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] subjects at school, and why they're not being given the opportunities that they should have and why that's bad for all of us."

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