RBS shortlist to appear on new £10 note

Royal Bank of Scotland said that physicist James Clerk Maxwell, scientist Mary Somerville and civil engineer Thomas Telford have been shortlisted to appear on its new polymer £10 note.

The new note is due to be issued in the second half of 2017 and the final decision will be made following a public vote running from February 1-7.

Edinburgh-born James Clerk Maxwell (1831 – 1879) was a pioneer of electromagnetism. His discovery of the unified theory of electricity and magnetism directly led to the application of electromagnetic radiation.

Einstein considered Maxwell a hero and the greatest physicist since Newton, and his findings were described as “the most significant event of the 19th century” by fellow physicist Richard Feynman.

Jedburgh-born Mary Somerville (1780 – 1872) was a scientist, science writer and translator.

At a time when women’s participation in science was discouraged, Mary Somerville was a pioneer and was jointly nominated to be the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1835.

Somerville’s writing influenced James Clerk Maxwell and John Couch Adams, and her discussion of a hypothetical planet perturbing Uranus leading Adams to discover Neptune.

Thomas Telford (1757 – 1843) was born near Langholm in the Scottish Borders and became known as the “Colossus of Roads.”

Telford built over 1,000 miles of roads in his lifetime and became the first president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

In his native Scotland, Telford designed numerous infrastructure projects such as the Caledonian Canal and the Telford churches, as well as harbours and tunnels.

Much of his work remains in use across the UK to this day.

Voting for the final decision closes on February 7. It will take place on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/royalbankofscotland