Sometimes Francis Collins does something right

He's a delusional kook, but Collins is also a competent administrator, and I have to give him credit when he does the right thing.

The NIH, led by Dr. Collins, has recently accepted a recommendation from the National Institute of Medicine that future chimpanzee research funding shall be suspended, and that exceedingly strict guidelines are to be imposed.

They're just too close to us, and should fall under the penumbra of the same ethical considerations we apply to humans. I'd say the same of gorillas and orangutans…but I don't think there is any biomedical research being done on those animals, so the restriction would be unnecessary.

(Also on FtB)

Tags

More like this

There are a number of people who, even when they are right, get things very wrong. To whit, Michael Gerson, former Bush speechwriter, reacting to Francis Collins's nomination as NIH director (h/t Joel). He notes that Collins is well-qualified, and that it's odd how a few people are agitated that…
Good news! The gorilla genome sequence was published in Nature last week, and adds to our body of knowledge about primate evolution. Here's the abstract: Gorillas are humans' closest living relatives after chimpanzees, and are of comparable importance for the study of human origins and evolution.…
Over the past couple of months I've been reading John MacKinnon's In Search of the Red Ape (Collins, 1974) - one of the first books anyone reads whenever they want to learn about orangutans. The book is stuffed full of anecdotes and other natural history tales about Borneo and Sumatra, and it…
Science and religion bicker in the backseat. Collin Purrington / Creative CommonsWith Francis Collins' nomination as head of the National Institutes of Health I felt it was appropriate to bring up Sam Harris' letter to the journal Nature objecting to what he called "high-minded squeamishness" on…