The Bank of England has published a list of scientists who have been nominated to participate in the new £ 50 bill.
On the list are computer pioneers Alan Turing and Ada Lovelace, the inventor of the Alexander Graham Bell phone and the astronomer Patrick Moore.
The Bank received 174,112 nominations, of which 114,000 met the eligibility criteria.
To be on the list, the individual must be real, deceased and have contributed to the field of science in the United Kingdom.
The list, which includes more than 600 men and almost 200 women, includes black hole expert Stephen Hawking, discoverer of penicillin Alexander Fleming, father of modern epidemiology John Snow, naturalist and zoo keeper Gerald Durrell, fossil pioneer Mary Anning, British-Jamaican business woman, pioneer in nursing Mary Seacole and Margaret Thatcher, who was a scientist before becoming prime minister.
The late Baroness Thatcher studied chemistry at the University of Oxford and, after graduating, joined British Xylonite Plastics in 1947. Two years later, she joined J. Lyons & Co in Hammersmith, West London, as a research chemist of food in a paper that involved testing the quality of the cake. – Fillers and ice cream, wrote biographer Hugo Young.
According to an article by the Royal Society, it has been proven that the politician invented soft serve ice cream, a product in which Lyons worked, but "there is no solid evidence that Thatcher has directly helped in its invention".
William Hill bookies have Stephen Hawking as the current favorite, with odds of 7/4, followed by Nobel Prize winning chemistry Dorothy Hodgkin 4/1.
Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing and Alexander Fleming have odds of 5/1 and Rosalind Franklin, who made important contributions to the understanding of DNA, is at 6/1.
Other names will be considered until the closing of the nominations on December 14.
After that, the decision will be considered by the Advisory Committee on the Character of Bank Notes.
Paul Rincon, science editor of the BBC News website.
The definition of eligibility for this list is quite broad at this time, but more stringent criteria are likely to be applied once the Bank's committee considers the names.
Therefore, while Margaret Thatcher's contributions to politics are considerable, it remains to be seen if the committee will judge her as an equally significant scientific figure.
Hers is just one of the names that some observers will think are outside of some of the strictest definitions of a scientist. But a broad definition of eligibility could help promote some figures that the establishment overlooked in their lives, such as Mary Anning, who, without formal qualifications, helped document important fossil finds in southern England.
Those who expect strong female contenders will find much to like on the list. But there are also inclusions that highlight the contributions of ethnic minorities and immigrants to British science.
The shortlist committee will include space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock, author and geneticist Emily Grossman, editor of the British history of science journal Simon Schaffer, and theoretical and particle physicist Simon Singh .
Nominations can include anyone who has worked in any field of science, including astronomy, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medical research, physics, technology or zoology.
There are currently 330 million £ 50 bills in circulation, with a combined value of £ 16.5 billion, the Bank said.
A year ago there were doubts that the 50 pound note would continue to exist at all.
Fears that the higher denomination note was used by criminals and rarely for ordinary purchases provoked a government-led discussion on whether to abolish it.
Peter Sands, former CEO of Standard Chartered bank, described the £ 50 note as the "currency of corrupt elites, of all kinds of crime and tax evasion."
However, in October, the ministers announced plans for a new version of the note, which will be printed in the United Kingdom, which they said would be plastic, therefore, more durable, safer and more difficult to counterfeit.
The pioneers of steam engines James Watt and Matthew Boulton appear in the current £ 50, issued in 2011.