Alan Turing, World War II code-breaker castrated for being gay, is the face of Britain’s £50 note

Alan Turing, a British crack code-breaker and visionary mathematician, convicted under Victorian-era homophobic laws, will be the face of Britain’s latest £50 note. Governor of The Bank of England Mark Carney announced this on Monday saying that Turing, who killed himself in 1954 after he was subjected to chemical castration, will appear on the new polymer note by the end of 2021.

The note’s design reflects Turing’s work. It features a ticker tape of binary code that spells out his birthday (June 23, 1912), and depicts the “British Bombe” machine that helped break the Enigma code.It also includes a quote Turing gave to The Times newspaper in 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

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