The Bank of England has announced that a new face will take pride of place on the new £50 note. And you can help decide who. The only requirement is that the individual is a scientist and that they have passed away. Naturally, many people are petitioning for a woman to be given the prime spot, so I've come up with a list of female scientists for the £50 note to help matters.
Of course, the fact that the Bank of England has a "must be dead" rule makes it difficult for the list to be long. Women still only make up 23 percent of the UK's scientific workforce and years ago, the statistics were even worse, especially for women of colour who were effectively barred from the profession. In fact, some female contributions to fields including medicine, chemistry, and engineering have either been completely left out of the history books or conveniently forgotten by male colleagues.
Anyone is able to nominate a person of their choice and you have until December 14 to make your selection. Once all of the names have been collected, the Bank of England's panel will decide who will feature. In a statement, they said they are looking for "UK characters who have made an important contribution to our society and culture. We want the characters who make it onto our banknotes to come from different backgrounds and fields. When selecting a new character, we take into account who has featured on notes in the past."
Let's hope they take into account that no women, aside from the Queen and Jane Austen, have been selected before. If you need some inspiration for your nomination, here are a few names that have been routinely ignored over the years.