Monday, October 5, 2009

Making science "sexy" with Francis Collins

Before I came to work at my job, and before Dr. Francis Collins was executive director of the National Institutes of Health, the then NIH Human Genome Research Institute Director delivered our opening keynote speech.
Collins, far right.

Collins is a rock star of science. He's an extremely dynamic and engaging speaker as illustrated at our 2008 grand opening. Collins spoke of the fictitious "Betty", a woman who experienced two alternate existences - one with the aid of new genomic-based therapeutics and diagnostics and one - decidedly more bleak - one without.

Collins speech inspired our Save Betty campaign, encouraging people to use resources like the NIH family history tool to be aware of your personal health history.

Anyway, Collins recently appeared on The Colbert Report, updating Stephen about advances in personalized medicine and explaining why Colbert might not want crab claws to replace his hands.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Francis Collins
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMichael Moore

Love how Collins isn't afraid to be a little goofy to access audiences who are normally uninterested and unengaged in the sciences. I never considered myself a science type, and I'm still not that way inclined. However, learning about the specifics of the kinds of research that go on in my institute, in my town has been fascinating. I more than likely won't be a scientist any time soon, but continuing a career path of communications and outreach for these guys becomes more attractive by the day.

Get it, Francis.

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