Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, August 07, 2009

Collins confirmed as NIH director

The U.S. Senate today confirmed Francis Collins to head the National Institutes of Health. The Scientist notes that

... Collins's confirmation proceeded via unanimous consent, without the need for a hearing in the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions or a roll-call vote on the Senate floor. ...

Comment. As I noted in our post on the nomination:

... Collins has been a public advocate for OA to data, most notably in the Human Genome Project, which he lead. Even if that wasn't the case, simply having a permanent director at NIH will enable the agency to better explain its public access policy -- such as defending against the Conyers bill and supporting FRPAA. ...

We can be thankful that the Senate confirmed the nomination, and quickly. If there's any drawback, it's that the lack of a hearing means a missed chance for Collins to explain his views on OA to Congress and the public in a high-profile forum. But once he takes office, there should be many more such chances.

See also our past posts on Collins.