Rome, Italy, Oct 12, 2009 / 15:47 pm
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed two prominent scientists to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Edward M. De Robertis, a chemical biology professor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Collins was a leader in the Human Genome Project and directed the NIH’s National Human Genmore Research Institute from 1993 to 2008, according to his NIH biography. He has also written about the relation between science and faith in the 2006 bestseller “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.”
He has been an evangelical Christian since the age of 27. However, he is a supporter of human embryonic stem cell research who believes “therapeutic” human cloning could be acceptable, Discover Magazine reports.
Edward M. De Robertis is an expert in the molecular machinery that governs the formation of the embryo. According to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, his research is used in gene reprogramming experiments in human stem cells. He was also president of the International Society of Developmental Biologists from 2002 to 2006.