Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Collins, the "Irrepressible Optimist"

Case Western's Neil Greenspan says his issue with Francis Collins as NIH director doesn't deal with Collins' scientific or political skills or even his religious views. Rather, Greenspan is concerned that Collins is an "irrepressible optimist", as a news story in Science recently called him. Writing in The Scientist, Greenspan goes through a few statements made by Collins that he says oversell science. "The director of NIH should be a reliable and realistic source of medical information if the entire biomedical research enterprise is to remain credible," Greenspan writes. "Therefore, in the future, Dr. Collins should harness his intellect to control his enthusiasm so that he is more realistic in his public pronouncements regarding improvements in medical care that will undoubtedly develop in part from new insights into human genetics and genomics." Bring on the dour pessimism, please.