9 November 2018
Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and Parliamentary Diabetes Champion, David Stewart, is to nominate forgotten Scottish hero as the scientist who should feature on the new Bank of England £50 note after The Bank of England announced that the new £50 note will feature a prominent British scientist, 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.
David said " I would like to nominate the late scientist John Macleod, an Aberdonian, who shared the 1923 Nobel Prize with Frederick Banting, a young Canadian physician, for their discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921–1922
"On 8 November 1920, John, the educated Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto, met for the first time a young Canadian physician, Frederick Banting. Banting hoped Macleod would help him try out a research idea aimed at isolating the internal secretion of the pancreas.
"Macleod agreed to take Banting into his department and together they worked on a research plan along with their Assistants.
On 3 May 1922, John Macleod read a paper to the American Association of Physicians, co-authored by Banting and called 'The Effect Produced on Diabetes by Extracts of Pancreas'.
"The audience, which included America’s leading diabetologists, gave him a standing ovation for the work they had done in isolating the pancreatic hormone that controlled metabolism, which they named ‘insulin’.
"In October 1923 it was announced in Stockholm that Frederick Banting and John Macleod would share the 1923 Nobel Prize for their discovery.
David continued "As some will be aware Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use.
"The cells in your body need sugar for energy.
"Before the discovery of insulin in 1922, diabetes was often a fatal disease.
"Alarmingly one in 20 people in Scotland have diabetes which is now effectively treated by Insulin.
David concluded "As Parliamentary Diabetes Champion this is an issue close to my heart and I think the late John MacLeod, a forgotten medical hero is the perfect nominee to appear on the front of the new £50
Note: The closing date for nominations is December 14.
There are currently 330 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £16.5bn.
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.
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.