Skip to navigationSkip to content

British mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing will feature on the new £50 banknote

By Quartz

His quote, "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be," will also appear on the noteRead full story

Comments

  • Also share to
  • Finally! It can't be said how deserving this is, or how long-coming is this honour for one of THE most brilliant and consequential minds of the 20th century.

    On top of what one might call his many more traditional accomplishments (playing one of the major roles that helped win World War II for the

    Finally! It can't be said how deserving this is, or how long-coming is this honour for one of THE most brilliant and consequential minds of the 20th century.

    On top of what one might call his many more traditional accomplishments (playing one of the major roles that helped win World War II for the Allies, serving as basically the father of modern computational mathematics and computer programming), Alan Turing also, tragically, was a martyr for the LGBTQ+ community. As a prominent gay man, war hero lauded at the highest levels for a service that was so secret and so important it wouldn't be publicly known until decades after the war, he was forced to opt for a horrific chemical castration over jail to maintain his freedom -- even at the cost of simultaneous ostracism from much of society. His ultimate death was tragic, needless, and wholly insensitive from the society that he'd not only saved but paved the way for the future.

    Alan Turing is one of the important lessons to us all of the brilliance each person may possess and the virtually limitless potential they may have when allowed to run in their given field. We do not know when we'll need such people or what they will create, discover or invent - but it might save us in hour most desperate hour of need or light our next path forward. Alan Turing is our collective reminder that cruelty in all our collective names serves no purpose other than cruelty. Any that potential benefit (however misguided it may be) will be vastly outweighed by the enormous loss such actions represent.

    On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this honour is a fitting one -- provided we also don't lose sight of the entirety of Alan Turing's story. He was a great man for all he did, not just the movie-friendly bits.

  • Good reminder to the tech-bro community that the father of computer sciences was gay and the first computer programmer was a woman...

  • The Alan Turing bio about the Enigma tells a good story about outsiders, and the importance of being different.

    A banknote is the perfect billboard for this message.

  • An honor that's way too late. I hope it is accompanied with an apology .

  • Great that we are celebrating this man. But I hope we aren’t brushing over the way we treated him. This article covers it thankfully. I hope the BoE press release does.

  • Great to hear, an inspiring person indeed, especially in our era of artificial intelligence.

  • KUDOS!! Respect!! Well deserved!!

  • Thank you Alan!

  • I love when non-politicians are honored this way

  • Appreciated 🤗 Love Alan For His Invention

  • Great call!

  • About time he was recognized for saving the planet from disaster. Sad he was forced to commit suicide.

  • He’s one of the key reasons we are here

  • A great man who was greatly unappreciated by his country.

  • Great story

Want more conversations like this?

Join the Quartz community for all the intelligence, without the noise.

App Store BadgeGoogle Play Badge
Leaderboard Screenshot

A community of leaders, subject matter experts, and curious minds bringing nuance back to how we talk about the news.

Editors' Picks Screenshot

No content overload: our editors will curate the most notable and discussion-worthy pieces for you every day.

Share Screenshot

Don’t just read the story, tell it: contribute your ideas and experience to the dialogue.