U.S. public servants sacrifice cash prizes

March 11, 2010

President Barack Obama had to give up his $1.4 million Nobel Peace prize award, but at least he got to choose which charities would benefit — he named 10, with the largest share going to Fisher House, which houses families of wounded veterans while they receive treatment.

BUSHNo such luck for Dr. Francis Collins, head of the U.S. National Institutes of  Health.

Collins just won a one-third share of the $500,000 Albany Medical Center prize, the award for medicine or science in the United States.

Collins shares the glory with Dr. Eric Lander of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University and David Botstein, the director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University.

But Collins cannot accept the cash, and he said he can’t even designate a charity to receive it instead.

“But it’s good to be a public servant,” he says.

By the way, Collins’s federal contract also does not allow him to promote his two recent books, “The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine” and “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Collins receives Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007)


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What we have is a regulated democracy. The only way to manage human behavior. And we have about a 60/40 split in the human population that favor black and white resolutions for conflicting conditions. Resulting in unfairness at the individual level. I suggest that while loyalty oaths are outlawed (correctly, except in a number of promanant western religions – left over from the dark ages)adopting oaths for telling the truth outside of courtrooms may instill a better atmosphere, but certainly not a perfect one. Mr Collins should be allowed to accept his gift and be able to put it in blind trust until he leaves public office and is cleared by a review board of his public service conduct with regard to the gift giver. (Personal gifts would require a different solution.)

Posted by Ray2000 | Report as abusive

Hey, government employee pay is 15% higher than those in the private sector. I’ll say it’s good to be one of them


Posted by STORY-BURN | Report as abusive