Alan Turing Gay Man to Feature on £50 Note
Alan Turing was a giant of the 20th century. Genius is a word, used far too often, to describe that which is merely just above average. Turing was a genius in the true sense of the word.
It is estimated that his work shortened WWII by 2 years and saved 14 million lives.
Other Turing achievements include advancement in maths which led the electrotechnical machine which deciphered the enigma code used by the Germans in WWII. The work with computers also led to many of the advancements we currently enjoy, including those in AI (artificial Intelligence). Much of the technology in new cars would have been impossible without his pioneering work done during the war.
Despite his value to society, he was persecuted in his lifetime at a time when gay men were hounded to death. Sex between men was a crime punishable by jail, and this giant of a man found it hard to reconcile his sexuality with laws as they stood. He died at only 41 by his own hand. Although the cause of death was cyanide, many insist it was unintentional. His death came after a conviction, but was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth in 2013.
The pardon came about after a long campaign by GBLT and human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell.
Since Turing’s 2013 pardon, the 2017 “Turing’s Law” has seen thousands of gay men receive similar posthumous pardons. The laws under which these men were convicted have long since been repealed.
In a further nod to his brilliance, Turing will feature on the new £50 note along with a table and mathematical formulae, an image of a computer, plus a Turing quote, “”This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”
The £50 note is the Bank of England’s highest note currently in circulation, and should be available by 2021.
Alan Turing was born 23/6/1912 and died 7/6/1954.