On February 2, EPPC’s Faith Angle Forum had the privilege of hosting a fascinating online conversation with Dr. Francis Collins, the country’s first Presidentially appointed Director of the National Institutes of Health to have served for more than one administration in that role.
Alongside BioLogos president Dr. Deb Haarsma and EPPC Senior Fellow Peter Wehner, who contributes regularly to The Atlantic and New York Times, Dr. Collins joined 11 journalists in conversation that included a firsthand window into the development of the mRNA vaccine, and as well as the spread of vaccine resistance among many Americans. The conversation moves swiftly and covers a lot of ground, from sociology to political religion, evolution to creation-science, choices about singing in church to assessing American institutions.
The conversation also covered BioLogos’s new “Integrate” curriculum for high schoolers.
Dr. Francis S. Collins
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. He was sworn in on August 17, 2009. In 2017, President Donald Trump asked Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director. President Joe Biden did the same in 2021. Dr. Collins is the only Presidentially appointed NIH Director to serve more than one administration. In this role, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. NIH announced that Dr. Collins has chosen to end his tenure as the NIH Director. His last day is December 19, 2021. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book.
Deborah Haarsma is President of BioLogos. She is a frequent speaker on modern science and Christian faith at research universities, churches, and public venues like the National Press Club. Her work appears in several recent books, including Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Design and Christ and the Created Order. She wrote the book Origins with her husband and fellow physicist, Loren Haarsma, presenting the agreements and disagreements among Christians regarding the history of life and the universe. She edited the anthology Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church with Rev. Scott Hoezee. Previously, Haarsma served as professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin University. She is an experienced research scientist, with several publications in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.
Peter Wehner is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and a contributing editor for The Atlantic magazine. Mr. Wehner has written for numerous other publications—including Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, The Weekly Standard, National Review, Commentary, National Affairs, and Christianity Today—and has appeared frequently as a commentator on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, CBS, PBS, and C-SPAN television. He was also the Pamela and Jack Egan Visiting Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy and the School of Arts and Sciences at Duke University in 2019–2020.
Josh Good is the director of EPPC’s Faith Angle Forum, which aims to strengthen reporting and commentary on how religious believers, religious convictions, and religiously grounded moral arguments affect American politics and public life. Before joining EPPC in 2018, Mr. Good served as a director for the Kern Family Foundation’s Faith, Work, and Economics Program and, prior to that, as manager of the Values & Capitalism Initiative—a special outreach program to Christian colleges—at the American Enterprise Institute.