02 November 2018
The Bank of England have asked the general public to nominate a historical character who has 'contributed to science and influenced UK society' to be featured on the next £50 note.
The news follows initial speculation of the figure to be celebrated on the forthcoming polymer £50 note, and has given the general public a clearer idea of the subject to be honoured on the note.
Speaking at the launch of the nomination period, Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney said:
'I am delighted that the new £50 will celebrate the UK’s contribution to science. There is a wealth of individuals whose work has shaped how we think about the world and who continue to inspire people today. Our banknotes are an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of UK society and highlight the contributions of its greatest citizens. My colleagues and I look forward to hearing from the public as they
think science and put forward their nominations.'
Members of the public have six weeks to nominate a historical character who has contributed to science and influenced UK society.
According to the Bank of England, 'they could have worked in any field of science including astronomy, biology, bio-technology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medical research, physics, technology or zoology.'
Sarah John, Chief Cashier and Director of Notes, said:
'Developing a new £50 note is an important step to ensure we can continue to provide secure banknotes that can be used with confidence. For this note, we want people to nominate a variety of characters to reflect the brilliance and breadth of the UK’s contributions to the field of science.'
The Governor has also announced the appointment of four experts in the field of science to the Banknote Character Advisory Committee – Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Dr Emily Grossman, Professor Simon Schaffer and Dr Simon Singh. They will join the permanent members on the Committee in creating a shortlist from the range of characters put forward by the public.
The Governor will then make a choice from the shortlist and the final decision will be announced in 2019 alongside a concept design for the new note.
The public can make their nominations on the Bank’s website until 14 December: www.bankofengland.co.uk/thinkscience