The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) presents its 2017 Public Service Award to Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., for his outstanding accomplishments in the communication of science. His ability to convey the excitement, achievements, and promise of biomedical research to the general public has benefited the scientific community.
“Francis Collins is a model of scientific citizenship. His passion for public education has been an inspiration, and his leadership has motivated thousands of scientists to join him in public outreach. His tireless efforts have earned him our admiration and gratitude,” said Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., FASEB President.
Going beyond his responsibilities as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins’ public outreach brought biomedical research into America’s living rooms on the Colbert Report, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, CNBC, National Public Radio, and countless other programs. He speaks extensively with the news media and has published numerous articles in magazines and newspapers across the country, informing millions about the extraordinary advances in biomedical research and the critical role that NIH plays in this enterprise. By highlighting new discoveries in biology and medicine in his Director’s Blog, he brought the hope and promise of biomedical research online to global audiences. He also brought science to the masses through social media, including chatting with Astronaut Kate Rubins on the International Space Station, hosting a Reddit Ask Me Anything and conversing directly with thousands of his Twitter followers.
“Whether on camera, in print, online, or in song, Francis has the remarkable ability to explain complex scientific concepts to general audiences. These extraordinary efforts to underscore the importance of research, combined with his compassion for those in need of new medical interventions, have earned the respect and trust of Americans from all segments of society,” Freeze said.
The FASEB Public Service Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the cause of biological and medical research through their work in government, public affairs, journalism, science policy, or related fields. Previous recipients include NIH Director Dr. James A. Shannon; former Deputy Directors Drs. Ruth L. Kirschstein and Raynard S. Kington; Senators Roy Blunt, Arlen Specter, and Tom Harkin; and Representatives Tom Cole, John Porter, David Obey, and Michael Castle.