Legendary mathematician, pioneering compuer scientist, and WW2 code-breaker Alan Turing, who was convicted and castrated under grotesque Victorian-era homophobic laws, is to be the face of the new £50 note here in the UK, it has been announced.
The governor of the Bank of Englad, Mark Carney, announced today that Turing, who tragically took his own life in 1954 after his cruel forced chemical castration, will appear on the new note by the end of 2021.
Carney, in a statement, talked of the Englishman's achievements as an "oustanding mathematician" who was "a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand."
"As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing's contributions were far ranging and path breaking," Carney said.
Turing's best known of his numerous major contributions to the world was his work at Bletchley Park. At Bletchley, in the UK, teams of cryptographers worked to crack secret Nazi codes, and Turing's design and implementation of a revolutionary new device, a 'Turing machine', i.e. one of the first ever computers, known as the "British Bombe" was a key tool in cracking the German Enigma code.
Turing's work in cracking the Enigma code is credited with saving millions of lives, and bringing the end of the war forward by several years.
His role in computer science in general is the stuff of legend, and he indeed is one of the absolute pioneering fathers of the field. In 1937, he published a paper that defines what it means for a problem to be computable, and he proposed his idea for a Turing machine.
The new note's design will reflect Turing's work. It includes a ticker tape of binary code that spells out his birthday of June 23rd, 1912. It also has an artist's rendering of the "British Bombe" machine.
Further, it includes a quote Turing gave to the The Times in 1949, saying: "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be."
Turing was a gay man in a time when it was very dangerous to be a homosexual. Despite being an absolute war hero, an architect of the Allied victory, and giant of modern science, Turing was persecuted for his sexuality.
Two years after having to chose chemical castration so as to avoid a jail sentence, Turing purposely ate an apple laced with cyanide, ending his life.
It wasn't until 1967 that sex between men over 21 was decriminalised, and shockingly not until 1980 and 1982 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.
When he was Prime Minister, Gordon Brown officially apologised for the way Turing was treated by the British justice system in the 1950s, after thousands of people signed a petition calling for such in 2009.
Turing received a royal pardon in 2014.
Hopefully this dedication will go some way to immortalising Turing, as he deserves, as a true Great Britain, and help inspire all members of the LGBTQ+ community that they needn't be afraid, anymore.
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