On the day that Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, unveils the design of the new £50 banknote featuring Alan Turing, James Turing reflects on his great-uncle’s legacy.
The new banknote celebrates his achievements, not only as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, but perhaps of even greater significance as a leading mathematician, developmental biologist and pioneer in the field of computer science. It includes a quote from an interview Alan Turing gave to The Times Newspaper in 1949:
This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.Alan Turing, 1949
The appearance of Alan Turing on the £50 note also confirms his status as one of the most iconic LGBT+ figures in the world and reminds us that we should all value diversity and ensure that we work to ensure the world we live in is truly inclusive.
You can see the unveil of the Alan Turing £50 polymer banknote in this video.
James Turing, interviewed on the Radio 4 Today programme, said that this is an honour which highlights the enormity of Alan Turing’s legacy and that he hoped that Alan Turing would have been proud of the work that The Turing Trust is doing to bridge the digital divide and enable all to access the digital world, particularly in Africa. He paid tribute to Alan Turing’s foresight in realising how much digital technology would change the world, but he said that Alan Turing would not have wanted that these benefits would only be available to half of us. The pandemic has highlighted in the UK how dependent we have become on the digital world, but that even here not everybody has adequate access to technology, yet technology is now an essential tool for children to be able access a quality education. The situation is very much worse in Africa. So, there is still a long way to go to provide equitable access to technology across the world.
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