Alan Turing will be on England's £50 note

Originally published at:


So close, but Coried:


This BBC article makes me mad. The first sentence of the article is “He is celebrated for his code-cracking work that proved vital to the Allies in World War Two.” No, he is celebrated as one of the founders of computer science; his code-cracking work didn’t become public knowledge until many, many years after his death, and after he had achieved fame developing the foundation for computer science (along with Church and Gödel).

Alan Turing’s work in computation is far more important than his work cracking the Enigma machine. The failure of the Beeb and other media to try to educate readers about mathematics is the very reason why his comp sci work is “less celebrated” among lay folk. Instead, they go for the easy explanation for why he is important, the Enigma machine—but that is a footnote in Turing’s life compared to his work in computation!

The only thing this article says about his work in computation is the above quote and this:

That’s it. That’s a huge understatement of his contribution to computer science. It’s fucking ridiculous and incredibly ignorant. The “personal finance reporter” who wrote this article should have interviewed a computer scientist to explain just how important Alan Turing is , but instead he clearly just relied on what he learned from watching The Imitation Game and the few bits of the intro to Turing’s wikipedia article that didn’t confuse the reporter’s money-focused brain.


Seems to me the Turner banknote should be a little hazier looking.



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