Search for the mystery woman on the £20 Scotland banknote
07 October 2005
By Russell Fallis, Scottish Press Association
The Royal Society of Chemistry today started a hunt for a mystery scientist featured on a Scottish banknote.
The woman, believed to be a chemical scientist, posed for the picture more than ten years ago.
She features on the back of Bank of Scotland £20 notes with the caption "education and research".
But she has always remained anonymous and now the Royal Society of Chemistry hopes to find her in time for the annual Science and the Parliament event in Edinburgh next month.
An RSC spokesperson told the Scottish Press Association: "We became interested in the identity of the lady when a visitor to our stand at the American Chemical Society annual convention in Washington last month approached us with the note.
"She asked us what the woman was doing in the image and if she was indeed a chemist.
"We would like to find out what she was performing in the image on the note, where she was and what she has been doing since.
"We are intrigued to know is she still working, is she a mother, is she an academic?
"If we can find out this information from her we would like to meet her and present her to the Royal Society of Chemistry chiefs and members at the event on November 2 at Our Dynamic Earth."
The Bank of Scotland today it was unable to reveal the woman's identity.
The current issue of Bank of Scotland notes were launched in 1995 to commemorate its 300th anniversary.
The reverse of each note depicts the bank's involvement in the community through five themes, from oil and energy on the back of its £5 note to an image of leisure and tourism on the £100 note.
A spokeswoman said: "The image on the reverse of the £20 note, illustrating education and research, shows an individual using a high pressure liquid chromatograph.
"The engraving by (banknote producer) De La Rue, as far as we are aware, is based on a photograph of a real person.
"However, there was an understanding at the time that the image would be anonymised and show a purely generic scene."
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