NIH Director Francis Collins got ahead of himself this week when he sent his staff a memo announcing the official creation of the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. As it turns out, however, Collins had to retract the email an hour after sending it when he was told that President Barack Obama hadn't yet signed off on the bill. "The omnibus appropriations bill for FY2012 passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama today includes provisions that formally establish the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) as a new component of the NIH," Collins' first email read.
That email was soon followed by another. "The President signed a Continuing Resolution until December 23, so nothing is finalized until we have a signed bill. We apologize for any confusion," he later wrote.
The mistake is the latest "glitch in the saga" of NCATS, Kaiser says. For the past year, many in the scientific community have argued that NCATS is the wrong way to go, and that Collins "was ramming NCATS through without adequate discussion," Kaiser adds. "For the many critics of the NCATS reorganization, the premature memo rubbed salt in their wounds."