Welcome to our new COPUS blogger Sonia Bhangoo! Sonia is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health conducting research on chronic pain. She has volunteered to help with COPUS, because she is passionate about connecting science to the public. We are thrilled to have Sonia as part of our COPUS team!
January was quite the time to be in Washington, DC. The energy surrounding the arrival of a new President at the White house could be felt in the cold January air. However as the next few months passed, and the new administration settled down in the nation’s capital, questions of who will lead the various government agencies arose. One such agency near and dear to our hearts is the world renowned National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is at the front line when it comes to science, providing financial support for medical research in every state and around the world.
On Monday August 17th, 2009, Dr. Francis Collins was sworn in as the 16th director of the NIH. For the past decade, Dr. Collins had been serving as the director for the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the NIH. His work and leadership led the institute to prestige in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. Being a top leader at the NIH, while authoring several books on the importance of research and medicine, shows his appreciation for science.
While his scientific career is well known and appreciated, some out there may not know his softer side. Dr. Collins recently made an appearance on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. His witty remarks and ability to develop a comic rapport with Steven Colbert show that not only is he a successful scientist, but can also be someone who brings ease and understanding to the often complex world of science. This was especially apparent in his response concerning cloning and stem cell research after Colbert expressed his desire for crab claws!
As you know, the mission of COPUS is to bring science to the forefront of the public eye and increase their public understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. Having a leader like Dr. Collins will help further this effort. His ability to communicate to the public the necessity for biomedical research and how it can further our society is a welcome sight to the scientists who dedicate their lives to the exploration of science. Seeing the public understand, value and appreciate research is the ultimate goal that we all hope to achieve. A new director at the helm will bring a different perspective and a different way achieving this goal. Welcome Dr. Collins!
In case you missed his appearance on the Colbert Report, check it out here:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|