Bethesda, Md., Wed., May 28, 2008 — Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced his intention to step down on August 1 to explore writing projects and other professional opportunities.
Dr. Collins, 58, a physician-geneticist, has served as NHGRI’s director since April 1993. He led the Human Genome Project (HGP) to its successful conclusion in 2003, and subsequently initiated and managed a wide range of projects that built upon the foundation laid by the sequencing of the human genome.
Collins is widely known as a Christian scientist, and the author of the popular book The Language of God, advancing the view that Darwinian evolution can account for the development of life (though possibly not its origin). He draws the line at altruism in human beings, though evolutionary psychologists have aggressively staked that too, along with every manifestation of religion, as their territory.
According to the Institute,
Dr. Collins explained that his decision to step down as leader of NHGRI came after much personal deliberation. “My decision was driven by a desire for an interval of time dedicated to writing, reflection and exploration of other professional opportunities in the public or private sectors,” he said. “The demands and responsibilities of directing an NIH institute do not allow the time commitment necessary for this. In addition, I may need greater latitude than my current position allows to pursue other potential positions of service without encountering any possible conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived.”
It well be interesting to see whether Collins pursues his interest in accommodating Christianity and Darwinism, and if so, how.
Also, just up at Colliding Universes:
Coffee Break question: Why are the space aliens always supposed to have superior technology?
Exoplanets: Will intelligence be common or rare?
Quantum mechanics: Could cosmic microwave background show that it is wrong?
Chuckle of the day: What lies beyond the observable universe?
Letter: Multiverses are nonsense, but so is much contemporary physics
Other universes: Why the materialist needs an infinite number of them
Just up at The Mindful Hack:
Psychology: Babies know what is good for them: But is it nature or nurture?
Psychology: Yale’s National Risk and Culture Study tells us more of what we already sensed about how manipulation works
Commentator Dinesh D’Souza on The Spiritual Brain: Including stuff he didn’t know
Evolutionary psychology: Computer modeller dismisses latest computer model of religion
Evolutionary psychology: A motley navy of speculations, soon to be stranded?