The director of the National Institutes of Health is the winner of an award that recognizes the coexistence of science and religion.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Francis Collins is the latest recipient of the Templeton Prize and will earn $1.3 million.
Collins is a geneticist and physician who led the Human Genome Project in the early 2000s. Throughout his career, he has been outspoken about how faith and science are related.
"As I write this, almost my every waking moment is consumed by the effort to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19," Collins, 70, said in a press release. "The elegant complexity of human biology constantly creates in me a sense of awe. Yet I grieve at the suffering and death I see all around, and at times I confess I am assailed by doubts about how a loving God would permit such tragedies.
"But then I remember that the God who hung on the cross is intimately familiar with suffering. I learn and re-learn that God never promised freedom from suffering — but rather to be 'our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble' (Psalm 46)."
John Templeton Foundation president Heather Templeton Dill said, "Dr. Collins embodies the ideals and core convictions that inspired my grandfather, Sir John Templeton, to establish the Templeton Prize in 1972: that rigorous research, especially in the sciences, can help humanity confront the deepest and most challenging questions of existence."
Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Collins said in March that the U.S. was facing a "very rough road" because of the virus. This month, Collins said he expects to see large-scale COVID-19 vaccine testing by July.
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