November 28, 2018, by Lindsay Brooke

£50 note – Sir Peter Mansfield on the list of nominations

Sir Peter Mansfield is on a list of eligible names nominated in the first week of the Bank of England’s search for the face of the new £50 note. The Bank of England wants to feature someone who has contributed to science. The list of all eligible nominations will be posted once the nomination window closes on Friday 14 December. The final decision will be based on the characters’ strengths, not how many nominations they get.

Since the Governor launched the character selection process for the £50 note on the 2 November there have been a total of 174,112 nominations. Sir Peter Mansfield was among the 114,000 eligible names nominated in the first week. But this is only the preliminary stage of identifying eligible names for consideration.

At this first stage, a nomination has been deemed eligible simply if the character  is real, deceased and has contributed to the field of science in the UK in any way. The names have not yet been considered by the Banknote Character Advisory Committee. The public is being encouraged to continue nominating until 14 December at

The Bank of England will also take account who has been chosen in the past because it wants to make sure a wide diversity of people and fields are featured on their bank notes.

Anyone who appears on the new £50 note must:

  • have contributed to the field of science
  • be real – so no fictional characters please
  • not be alive – Her Majesty the Queen is the only exception
  • have shaped thought, innovation, leadership or values in the UK
  • inspire people, not divide them

Anyone who has contributed to the fields of pure or applied science are eligible. That could include: astronomy, biology, bio-technology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medical research, physics, technology and zoology.

Sir Peter is up against many other notable scientists including Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace, Alexander Graham Bell and astronomer Patrick Moore. A final decision will be made next year.



Posted in AlumniHealth & medicinePhysics and AstronomyResearch newsScienceStaffStudents