LONDON-The new £50 note will feature a prominent British scientist, the Bank of England has announced, with the public being asked for nominations.

In addition to the Queen, the note will include the portrait of an eminent late scientist from fields such as biology, astronomy and medical research.

The public can offer suggestions on the Bank’s website over the next six weeks. There are currently 330 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £16.5bn, the Bank said.  The Bank’s governor, Mark Carney, made the announcement at the Science Museum in London.

“There is a wealth of individuals whose work has shaped how we think about the world and who continue to inspire people today,” he said.

“Our banknotes are an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of UK society and highlight the contributions of its greatest citizens.” Nominations can include anyone who worked in any field of science including astronomy, biology, bio-technology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medical research, physics, technology or zoology, the Bank said.

A shortlist will be drawn up by a committee, including four experts in the field, and a final decision will be made by Mr Carney, with the note entering circulation at a date yet to be announced.

There will also be a new signature on the banknote - that of Sarah John, the new chief cashier of the Bank of England.