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U.S. Treasury Holds Public Forum On $10 Bill Redesign


The race is on for the next face on the $10 bill. And it will be a woman's face. That was promised by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew earlier this year. And today, the first town hall meeting on the subject was held in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Seneca Falls is said to be the birthplace of the women's rights movement back in 1848. Some of the current frontrunners for the new 10 are Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt, but there are others contenders - Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, and Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts, is getting a social media push. At this point, you might be thinking to yourself, yes, all these are worthy candidates, but where are the geneticists? Well, don't worry. Don Gibson has your back.

DON GIBSON: Barbara McClintock is one of the greatest geneticists of all time.

SIEGEL: Don Gibson is a Ph.D. student at the University of California Davis. He's studying genetics, and he's also the man behind Barbara on the Bill. That's the name of the campaign to get Barbara McClintock on the $10 bill.

GIBSON: One of the things that helped make America great is our accomplishments in science and technology. Yet, we have not recognized it publicly on our currency. And using this opportunity to highlight the contributions of a woman of science would be an opportunity to show the values of what our nation wants to have.

SIEGEL: Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for her work in genetics. She is the only woman to single-handedly win a Nobel Prize in life sciences. Now, while the debate is raging over the new face on the $10 bill, there has been another campaign for a woman's face on U.S. currency. New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen is among those who are calling for a woman's face on the 20. She's introduced a bill called the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act. It would put Tubman's likeness on the 20, but she says she's not in competition with the campaign for the 10.

JEANNE SHAHEEN: You know, I believe that it's an important step forward. If we start with the 10 and then move to the 20, I'm OK with that. I think what's more important than who's on the currency is reflecting the likeness of a woman on our paper currency.

SIEGEL: So 20 or 10 and who should be on it - well, you can join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #TheNew10. The U.S. Treasury will make a decision by the end of the year. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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