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U.S. public servants sacrifice cash prizes
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.
No 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)