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Put Barbara McClintock on The New $10 Bill

Don Gibson

When I heard that the US Treasury Department announced that a woman will be on the $10 I thought, “why not have a woman of science be that person?” Thinking back, one woman kept coming to my mind–someone who revolutionized genetics & biology, who suffered harsh discrimination during her career, and is the only woman to single-handedly win a Nobel Prize in life science: Barbara McClintock. Over her six decade career she made many discoveries, such as a crossing over of chromosomes and “jumping genes” now known as transposons.

I was inspired after seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson give a public talk. He showed how other nations honored their great scientists and discoveries on the national currency. The idea of having a science on the money means the average citizen comes into contact with science every day.

The project to put Barbara McClintock on the $10 bill was launched at the American Society of Plant Biologist (ASPB) convention in Minneapolis, where it was enthusiastically received by hundreds of scientists. “This is a wonderful idea, and ASPB is delighted to lend its full support,” said Dr. Julian Schreoder, President of ASPB. “What better way to draw attention to the centrality of plants in addressing today’s grand challenges than by celebrating one of the great luminaries of the plant science field and, in fact, of biology in general."

The campaign is seeking public support though the website barbaraonthebill.com, and the US Treasury Department is taking public feedback on social media via the hashtag #TheNew10. Show your support for science today!

Don Gibson is a member of the student Alliance for Science and a Genetics PhD Student at University of California at Davis.

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