Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, was selected as the Templeton Prize Laureate for 2020. According to a May 20, 2020, press release, "In his scientific leadership, public speaking, and popular writing, including his bestselling 2006 book, The Language of God, Collins has demonstrated how religious faith can motivate and inspire rigorous scientific research."
Collins also has consistently denounced creationism's rejection of rigorous scientific research leading to the scientific consensus on evolution. In The Language of God, for example, he criticized "intelligent design" on both scientific and theological grounds, describing it as "a 'God of the gaps' theory, inserting a supposition of the need for supernatural intervention in places that its proponents claim science cannot explain."
Established in 1972, the Templeton Prize is described as honoring "exemplary individuals — including scientists, philosophers, religious leaders, and public intellectuals — who employ the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind's place and purpose within it." Collins will formally receive his prize, which includes 1.1 million British pounds, in a virtual ceremony later in 2020.