The Bank of England is asking the public to nominate a scientist as the face of the new plastic £50 note – but forget Doctor Who because “Time Lords of whatever gender are ineligible”.
Any scientist can be nominated as long as they are British, dead, and non-fictional. No woman has ever featured on the reverse side of the £50 note, so the Bank is expected to come under pressure to select one.
But that woman will not be Jodie Whittaker, as governor Mark Carney explained in his speech announcing the project…
“We’re looking for someone from Great Britain and Northern Ireland who has made an invaluable contribution to UK society, be it through innovation, exceptional leadership, helping to shape the society or forging common values,” said Carney.
“As has always been the case, the Bank will not represent living people or fictional characters on our banknotes, so I’m afraid Time Lords of whatever gender are ineligible!”
Instead, Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer is an early frontrunner, alongside Nobel prizewinner Dorothy Hodgkin and Stephen Hawking.
Given what happened in the “Boaty McBoatface” fiasco, the Bank said it would not be completely bound by a public vote but would instead open a six-week window for names of scientists to be suggested for its “character selection process”.