New £50 note will pay tribute to women scientists in Northern Ireland
The discovery of pulsars by Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 1967 is included in the note, unveiled on International Women’s Day 2022.
Northern Ireland is to receive a new banknote celebrating the achievements of women in the region working in science.
Ulster Bank is launching the £50 note on International Women’s Day (today March 8). It should go into circulation this summer on June 15.
Pioneering Lurgan-born astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell and her iconic work on the discovery of pulsars in 1967 feature on the design. His pivotal role in this discovery was not recognized at the time and the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics was instead awarded to his thesis supervisor.
But Bell Burnell is now recognized as one of the world’s foremost astrophysicists, having been awarded the Copley Medal last year and the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in 2018. She is a pioneering advocate for women and marginalized people in the scientific field and was the first woman to be president of the Institute of Physics.
As well as Bell Burnell, the banknote design shows women working in Northern Ireland’s growing life sciences industry. There are also nods to the region’s shipbuilding and aviation sectors, creative industries and Northern Ireland’s place as a cybersecurity hub.
The Northern Irish ‘millies’ are also featured on the banknote. Millies were women who worked on looms in the area’s linen industry. They were considered unskilled laborers back then, but their contribution to craftsmanship is now celebrated on the note.
On the other side of the note are illustrations of plants and animals native to the region, such as gorse, a cryptic woodland butterfly, and a pine marten.
Sandra Wright, senior human resources manager at Ulster Bank, said “the banknote designs are a celebration of the people and places of Northern Ireland”, building on the designs of the 5, 10 and £20 from the bank.
“But this new note puts a particular focus on women and the role of women in life and industry here, including amazing achievements such as Dame Jocelyn’s discovery of the pulsars. We are truly honored to release the design today. today on International Women’s Day,” added Wright.
Terry Robb, head of personal banking in Northern Ireland, highlighted the place banknotes have even as the transition to digital banking continues.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of customers switching to digital transactions, but banknotes continue to be an important part of how many people interact with us. We’re really proud to present this latest bold new design. , especially as it celebrates some of the incredible things the women of Northern Ireland have achieved.
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