The campaign to have World War II mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing feature on a British banknote has received its first official government response after receiving over double the required response and Turing has been added to the Bank of England’s shortlist.
UK Government e-petitions are responded by a relevant Government department if they garner more than 10,000 signatures and the Alan Turing banknote campaign has garnered more than 22,000.
The campaign received the following response, ‘The Bank of England has been including historic characters on its notes since 1970.’
‘The Bank welcomes suggestions from members of the public for individuals who might feature on future banknotes, and publishes a list of these suggestions on its website. These suggestions inform the process when a new note is under consideration.
‘The mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing [now] features on the list … This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.’
Turing was instrumental in breaking the Nazi’s Enigma Code but killed himself at age 41 in 1952 by eating a cyanide-laced apple after being prosecuted for having sex with another man and chemically castrated.
Turing has previously been honored by appearing on a British postal stamp and a limited edition of the Monopoly board game but plans to immortalize him on screen have been dropped by Warner Bros. after Leonardo DiCaprio said he was no longer interested in the project.
Liberal Democrat Lord Sharkey moved a bill in the House of Lords to pardon Turing in July but it is yet to be voted on.
The Bank of England banknote shortlist also includes another noted LGBT person – the playwright Oscar Wilde.