|By Jeffrey Brainard|
The prize, which was first awarded in 1973, was created by John Templeton, a successful investor who died in 2008. It honors those who have advanced Templeton’s vision of “harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.”
Collins wrote a bestselling book in 2006 that argues that scientific inquiry and Christianity are not incompatible, and that religious faith can inspire scientific discovery. He has continued to speak publicly about those ideas since he became NIH director in 2009, even as some researchers have criticized those activities as inappropriate for the leader of a federal science agency.
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