Thursday, July 9, 2009

Francis Collins to Head NIH

As anticipated, President Obama has nominated Francis Collins to head the National Institutes of Health. The NY Times lists two complaints regarding his nomination, his "evangelism" and his enthusiasm as head of the NIH's Human Genome Project now that "the hopes that this discovery would yield an array of promising medical interventions have greatly dimmed, discouraging many".

The latter objection is almost comical. The report of genomics death is, thank you Mark Twain, an exaggeration. A more vigorous accounting of the former can be found in this heated exchange between Sam Harris and Philip Ball.

(photo credit: Douglas C. Pizac/AP, via nytimes.com)