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Young duo have designs on Ulster Dame for new £50 note

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 24/11/2015

Northern Ireland-born astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Northern Ireland-born astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
The proposed £50 bank note featuring Northern Ireland-born astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell on the front

Northern Ireland astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell should feature on new bank notes, according to two young designers.

As the Bank of England prepares to launch new notes in 2016, two recent graduate designers of Brunel University London say the proposed designs are an opportunity lost.

Sir Winston Churchill has been lined up for the new plastic fiver, while Jane Austen is set to feature on the next £10 note.

But Oscar Daws and Matthew Durbin think the new notes should better reflect the history and geography of the UK - so they came up with their own.

For Wales the duo have selected the father of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan; for England, the Queen; for Scotland, Lord Reith, the first Director-General of the BBC; and for Northern Ireland, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, one of the world's foremost scientists.

The Lurgan woman discovered pulsar stars while still a student, but missed out on the 1974 Nobel Prize for Physics which was awarded to two male scientists who worked with her, sparking controversy.

Matthew said: "The project started out for a university graphics module, but after a lot of research it quickly became much more than that.

"UK banknotes are some of the most ubiquitous pieces of design in use today, but very few ever consider the meaning behind the graphics."

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