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UK £50 Bill Honors Gay Icon Alan Turing

By Charlotte Robinson, March 27, 2021

It’s official the Bank of England has displayed its new £50 note featuring mathematician & computer science pioneer Alan Turing who helped win World War II with his code-breaking brilliance & then died after facing government persecution over his homosexuality. Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England stated, "Alan Turing was a gay man, whose transformational work in the fields of computer science, code-breaking & developmental biology, was still not enough to spare him the appalling treatment to which he was subjected. By placing him on this new £50 banknote, we celebrate him for his achievements & the values he symbolizes, for which we can all be very proud. Turing's pioneering work in computing and artificial intelligence has had an enormous impact on how we all live today." Peter Tatchell. Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation concluded, “This is a much deserved accolade for one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century. Turing’s Enigma code-breaking helped defeat the Nazis & thereby shortened the Second World War, saving millions of lives. As a pioneer of computing science, his theories laid the foundation of the modern world, including everything from the internet & email to mobile phones, space exploration & life-saving medical technologies.” Turing was arrested in 1952 & charged with “gross indecency” for homosexual acts that were illegal in England & Wales until 1967. Turing did not deny the charges & was convicted & sentenced to chemical castration. He died two years later at 41 after eating an apple laced with cyanide which is still debated by historians whether this was a suicide or accidental poisoning. The banknote will officially be in circulation on June 23rd Turing's birthday.

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