back to article Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

This week the Bank of England said it was going to put a famous boffin on a new polymer £50 note, and has decided to ask the public who it should be. There is even an online form where you can put in a nomination – it will be open for the next six weeks. There are only two rules attached: they must be a) a scientist – covering …

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  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    What about Tony Blair ?

    Inventor of Weapons of Mass Destruction ?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. chuckufarley

        Re: What about Tony Blair ?

        But is he pining for the fjords?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about Tony Blair ?

        > Unfortunately, he's not dead yet...

        Is that an offer?

      3. lee harvey osmond

        Re: What about Tony Blair ?

        I'm sure that can be fixed

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about Tony Blair ?

        "Unfortunately, he's not dead yet..."

        Once he realises all the publicity he'll get, I'm sure he will follow through with the prerequisites...

    2. lee harvey osmond

      Re: What about Tony Blair ?

      Or, indeed, Bill Penney. Who wanted to be remembered for his contribution to science, and not for his specific contributions to the Manhattan Project and to its British successors.

      And who wouldn't want a man named Penn[e]y on the £50?

      This is also the man who demanded, and got, an IBM machine with a FORTRAN compiler after his first efforts at a two-stage device didn't work. The next set of tests ran just fine.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Eh? Come again?

    "a scientist – covering any field from astrology through to zoology"

    Since when was astrology a science?

    1. DeVino
      Joke

      Re: Eh? Come again?

      Since time immemorial to around the 1700s and then the late 1960's to the current day sadly.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Eh? Come again?

      Friday night blunder - it's fixed. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.co.uk if you spot anything wrong.

      C.

      1. lee harvey osmond

        Re: Eh? Come again?

        "Welcome to The Scry At Night"

    3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Eh? Come again?

      But to be fair Newton world on both astrology and alchemy `9as well as some rather stunning work - everyone has his/her bad days.

    4. Richard 31
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Eh? Come again?

      That but also the Acoustics, Aerodynamics and Zymology scientists can all cram it too.

    5. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Eh? Come again?

      Technically that would be be one of the fields, and he would retain the fact he's a scientist when he investigates this field. Although if you were to argue even a faint interest in astrology strips you of all links to science, I'd find that harsh but fair :)

  3. smudge Silver badge
    FAIL

    astrology????

    they must be a) a scientist – covering any field from astrology through to zoology

    Russell Grant is still with us, so my vote goes to John Dee.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: astrology????

      Friday night blunder - it's fixed. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.co.uk if you spot anything wrong.

      C.

      1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

        Re: astrology????

        Nope, Newton wasn't a conceited prick who looked down on people who looked upwards in their own way--as that is what he was doing anyway. If you can't look at the sky without being able to resist the thoughts of what others think--fueling your self-conceit by the fact that some thoughts are wrong and yet unify the thinkers of them--then you truly belong with those who never do look up.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: astrology????

          @define Infinity

          It would take me quite a while to unpick that paragraph , even if I had some idea what the hell you're talking about in the first place, as it stands i dont. I've checked the comments above for people dissing Newton , and been back to read the Newton part of the article (too much time on my hands) and I still dont know what prompted your outburst.

          maybe its just me. can anyone elaborate?

        2. lee harvey osmond

          Re: astrology????

          To me that looks like a reply to an even weirder post than has been deleted since.

  4. graeme leggett

    One problem with this

    Putting a scientist on the £50 doesn't mean much recognition for the British scientist chosen.

    Because the average Briton seldom sees a fifty.

    Short of massive inflation reducing the British pound to a fraction of its current worth, the image when chosen will appear briefly in the news and then fade from memory. Finally becoming a question on a tv quiz show in a few years.

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Re: One problem with this

      @Graeme L

      As a child, I never saw one of the then-current black and white fivers. Then they were abolished, before photcopiers came to be. Give it time, and a £50 note will buy just one Mars bar - the chosen currency unit of that weekly rag The Economist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One problem with this

        " Give it time, and a £50 note will buy just one Mars bar [...]"

        In my 1950s childhood a Mars bar was a rare treat dispensed by a spoiled cousin. He also had a collection of expensive toys including Britain's model field guns with spring-loaded shell casings. Anyway - a Mars bar then cost 6d - (2.5p). Nowadays they are probably smaller and cost in the order of twenty times the nominal price.

        1. graeme leggett

          Re: One problem with this

          According to the Measuring Worth website, a 6d Mars bar in 1955 going by retail price index would be worth about 60p today. Coincidentally the current price of a 51g Mars bar from Tesco.

          Using other measures of 'value' 6d in 1950s is worth up to £2.50 in terms of earnings or share of economy.ie it took more to earn that Mars bar in the 50s.

        2. Jan 0

          Re: One problem with this

          Another problem:

          > Mars bar then cost 6d

          IIRC, they cost 3d in the early 50s, but got progressively smaller as inflation bit. I don't remember in which year the size reverted and the price started rising. but it would have been late 50s or maybe early 60s.

          1. The Nazz Silver badge

            Re: One problem with this

            IIRC they were 9d immediately prior to Decimalisation, (Feb ''71 was it?) soon to be 5p. A perfect excuse for increased inflation. Weren't aware that sizes were reducing by then though.

            Genuine consistency, prior to the abominal recipe change too.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One problem with this

          @AC

          In my 1950s childhood a Mars bar was a rare treat dispensed by a spoiled cousin

          "Tell my my dear, do you collect chocolate paper?"

          A question asked by an uncle of a someone I know as he proceeded to consume a whole bar of chocolate by himself, giving her just the wrapper at the end.

          1. RegGuy1

            "Tell my my dear, do you collect chocolate paper?"

            I wonder how many times the little shit got kicked in the goolies?

            1. MAF

              Re: "Tell my my dear, do you collect chocolate paper?"

              Or had it switched for a jumbo bar of Choc ex-lax...

        4. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: One problem with this

          He also had a collection of expensive toys including Britain's model field guns with spring-loaded shell casings.

          I had an extensive collection of those. From memory: The 155mm howitzer (with the aforementioned breech mechanism/shell casing) the 25 pounder, the Battalion Anti-Tank gun, the 105mm Howitzer, the 18th century cannon, the Ballista and the Catapult. Oh, and a Swappets 52mm mortar team with a working mortar.

          Britain's stuff used to be great. Their Elephants (from he Zoo range) are eagerly sought out for wargamers to this day. I have the Livery Stable from the western buildings range they did and a bunch of American civil war stuff. Always wanted the Civil War cannon/limber and team.

          The artillery pieces were all in a box that my father, gorblessim, lifted and the bottom fell out. The 155mm cannon had about a dozen separate bits. only about 8 survived to be passed back to me. Ditto the 105mm howitzer.

          You don't see anything like those toys these days. I mean, the guns could be taken out of the swappets cowboys' holsters, and when you took the hats off there was no peg/hole - magnificent construction.

      2. SGJ

        Re: One problem with this

        I think you mean a Big Mac, not a Mars bar. See https://www.economist.com/news/2018/07/11/the-big-mac-index

        1. dajames Silver badge

          Re: One problem with this

          I think you mean a Big Mac, not a Mars bar.

          No, it has to be something edible.

      3. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: One problem with this

        The Economist uses the Big Mac as its preferred currency unit, not the Mars Bar.

        https://www.economist.com/news/2018/07/11/the-big-mac-index

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One problem with this

      "Short of massive inflation reducing the British pound to a fraction of its current worth,"

      Mid April next year then.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Short of massive inflation reducing the British pound to a fraction of its current worth

        Put Boole on the ten pound note, then people will understand that it is really a two pound note.

        1. Paul Kinsler

          Re: Put Boole on the ten pound note... it is really a two pound note.

          And Gray on another different £10 note, because a three pound note would also be handy. :-)

    3. Paul D Smyth

      Re: One problem with this

      "Short of massive inflation reducing the British pound to a fraction of its current worth"

      Have you met Brexit?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One problem with this

      ATM's should dispense £50 notes. It's long overdue.

  5. Roger Kynaston
    Mushroom

    Astrology??!!

    Me thinks you mean that Newton was a pioneer in Astronomy.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Astrology??!!

      He was also a noted alchemist, so quite possibly an astrologist as well

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Astrology??!!

      @Roger Kynaston

      Newton would be gastronomy, you eat apples, right?

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Astrology??!!

      Yeah, Friday night pub o'clock editing strikes again. It's been fixed.

      C.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Astrology??!!

        @diodesign Bletchley Park – the code-breaking center

        Was that the Bletchley Park in California?

  6. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    A logical choice...

    ...would be George Boole.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: A logical choice...

      Not De Morgan?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: A logical choice...

        There is always George Coulouris, without whom Bill Joy would never have written vi, and where would we be today without that?

        (I know, he's still alive and so ineligible. Discrimination, I calls it.)

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Not De Morgan?

        Then again there's John Venn.

        1. Winkypop Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Not De Morgan?

          I'm in two minds over John Venn

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Not De Morgan?

            I'm in two minds over John Venn

            Surely you can find some middle ground.

      3. DeVino
        Joke

        Re: A logical choice...

        Boole or De Morgan ?

        Maybe

        Neither not Boole and not DeMorgan

        1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
          Holmes

          Re: A logical choice...

          Bertr& Russell \/ nobody.

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