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Bank of England Reveals Scientist Shortlist for New £50 Note

Ross Kelly


Bank of England Scientist

Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace and more feature on the shortlist so far, who would you like to see on the new £50 note? 

The Bank of England has released a shortlist of scientists who have been nominated for a place on its new £50 note.  

The list features a broad range of figures spread across a number of scientific backgrounds, including computing, telecommunications and astronomy.  

The Bank said it received a staggering 174,112 nominations, with 114,000 of those meeting the criteria.  

To be included on the list, a person must have contributed to the field of science in the UK – and also be deceased.  

The List so Far 

The list of nominees includes more than 600 men and almost 200 women. Among those included are Stephen Hawking, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Dorothy Hodgkin, Alexander Fleming and Margaret Thatcher.

The late Prime Minister’s inclusion on the list raised confusion among many online. However, before entering politics, Baroness Thatcher worked in the science field.

Having studied chemistry at the University of Oxford, she worked in a number of roles, including one at British Xylonite Plastics and J. Lyons & Co.

At Lyons & Co, the Baroness worked as a food research chemist in a quality testing role. She has previously been credited with inventing soft-serve ice cream, a product which Lyons & Co worked on.

These claims, however, were discredited in a Royal Society journal article which stated: “There is no firm evidence that Thatcher directly assisted in its invention.”

Other notable additions to the list are Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, and James “Paraffin” Young, a renowned Scottish chemical engineer and a pioneer of oil refining.

Bookmakers Odds

According to bookmakers, the current favourite is Stephen Hawking, with William Hill advertising odds of 7/4 for him to be chosen.

Dorothy Hodgkin is priced at 4/1 while Lovelace, Turing and Fleming all stand at odds of 5/1.

Further nominations, the Bank of England said, will be considered until a deadline scheduled for 14th December.  

Once the final list has been chosen, the Bank’s Banknote Character Advisory Committee will choose the person who will feature.  

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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