In one week, on Thursday night, Francis Collins is awarded a Templeton Prize.
On behalf of the Templeton Prize, we are pleased to invite you to celebrate Dr. Francis S. Collins as the 2020 Templeton Prize Laureate. This year’s ceremony honoring Dr. Collins will be held virtually on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, at 7 PM ET.
Dr. Collins, a geneticist, physician, and Director of the National Institutes of Health, led the Human Genome Project to its successful completion in 2003 and has advocated throughout his career for the integration of faith and reason. He was announced on May 20th as the 2020 Templeton Prize Laureate.
In his scientific leadership, public speaking, and popular writing, including his bestselling 2006 book, The Language of God , Collins has demonstrated how religious faith can motivate and inspire rigorous scientific research. “This book argues that belief in God can be an entirely rational choice,” he writes in the introduction, “and that the principles of faith are, in fact, complementary with the principles of science.” In the book, he endeavors to encourage religious communities to embrace the latest discoveries of genetics and the biomedical sciences as insights to enrich and enlarge their faith.
Collins, 70, was selected as the 2020 Laureate by the Prize judges late last year, but the announcement was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Templeton Prize, valued at 1.1 million British pounds, is one of the world’s largest annual individual awards and honors individuals whose exemplary achievements advance Sir John Templeton’s philanthropic vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it. Collins joins a list of 50 Prize recipients including Mother Teresa (the inaugural award in 1973), the Dalai Lama (2012), and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2013). Last year’s Templeton Prize went to theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser for his writings that present science, philosophy, and spirituality as complementary expressions of humanity’s need to embrace mystery and the unknown. Other scientists who have won the Prize include Martin Rees (2011), John Barrow (2006), George Ellis (2004), the late Freeman Dyson (2000), and Paul Davies (1995).