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Alan Turing, WWII codebreaker who was chemically castrated for being gay, chosen to be face of Britain's £50 note

Alan Turing to be honored on British currency

Alan Turing, the mathematician famous for breaking Nazi Germany's secret codes during World War II, who was later chemically castrated for being gay, will now be featured on Britain's £50 note. The Bank of England made the announcement Monday after considering many pivotal scientists to adorn the new bills. 

The bank's governor, Mark Carney, said Turing's work had an "enormous impact on how we live today." 

"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 is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand."

The note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021. Among the features, the new notes include a 1951 photo of Turing, his birthdate listed in binary code, and technical drawings for the British Bombe -- one of the machines Turin helped invent to break the Nazis' Enigma-coded messages. 

Bank of England chose WWII codebreaker Alan Turing as the new face of their £50 note.  Bank of England

The bank received 227,299 nominations for 989 different scientists during a six-week nomination period. Among the other notable nominees was theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who died last year. 

Turing, best known for devising the code-breaking machines during World War II, provided the theoretical underpinnings for the modern computer. He played a pivotal role in the development of early computers at the National Physical Laboratory and the University of Manchester. He also laid the foundations for work on artificial intelligence. 

After World War II, Turing was prosecuted for having sex with a man, stripped of his security clearance and forcibly treated with female hormones. He died in 1954 at age 41 after eating an apple laced with cyanide.Turing was awarded a posthumous royal pardon in 2013.

The enigma of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing

Turing's achievements drew inspiration for the 2014 film "The Imitation Game," which featured actor Benedict Cumberbatch as the revered codebreaker. He spoke to "CBS This Morning" about the role, saying: "The man was and is still regarded quite rightfully as the forefather of computer science, the forerunner, the inventor of it."

"To bring him to other people through the film, for me, it's a huge honor personally and something I feel very strongly about. This man needs recognition," Cumberbatch said.

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