The Road to Wisdom

On Truth, Science, Faith, and Trust

Coming Soon


By Francis S. Collins

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$39.00 CAD

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Language of God and former director of the National Institutes of Health, a deeply thoughtful guidebook to get us beyond societal divisions and back to the sources of wisdom.

As the COVID-19 pandemic revealed, we have become not just a hyper-partisan society but also a deeply cynical one, distrustful of traditional sources of knowledge and wisdom. Skepticism about vaccines led to the needless deaths of at least 230,000 Americans. “Do your own research” is now a rallying cry in many online rabbit holes. Yet experts can make mistakes, and institutions can lose their moral compass. So how can we navigate through all this?

In The Road to Wisdom, Francis Collins reminds us of the four core sources of judgement and clear thinking: truth, science, faith, and trust. Drawing on his work from the Human Genome Project and heading the National Institutes of Health, as well as on ethics, philosophy, and Christian theology, Collins makes a robust, thoughtful case for each of these sources—their reliability, and their limits. Ultimately, he shows how they work together, not separately—and certainly not in conflict. It is only when we relink these four foundations of wisdom that we can begin to discern the best path forward in life.

​Thoughtful, accessible, winsome, and deeply wise, The Road to Wisdom leads us beyond current animosities to surer footing. Here is the moral, philosophical, and scientific framework with which to address the problems of our time—including distrust of public health, partisanship, racism, response to climate change, and threats to our democracy—but also to guide us in our daily lives. This is a book that will repay many readings, and resolve dilemmas that we all face every day.


  • “Through his leadership of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins revealed the simple truth that we are all far more alike than we are different. Now, in his thoughtful book The Road to Wisdom, he urges us to have the courage and humility to bridge our divides, embrace what we have in common, and rebuild a fractured society.  When Dr. Collins speaks, I listen—and his message is more important now than ever.”
    President Bill Clinton
  • “In The Road to Wisdom, Francis Collins—a distinguished scientist as well as a former atheist who found meaning in the Christian faith—draws on his own deep, diverse experiences as he leads us through a maze of conflicting beliefs and opinions in search of wisdom: the sort that can save us before it is too late. This book should be read by anyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, who is seeking meaning or trying to make sense of our troubled times.”
    Jane Goodall
  • "Francis Collins offers us a path back to wisdom with this inspirational and unflinching look at his life as a research scientist, a man of faith, and a servant-leader who oversaw the work of our nation’s medical research agency through turbulent times. In the final pages of The Road to Wisdom, he urges us to sign a pledge, committing to seek truth, build trust, and practice generosity. I hope that many, many readers will join me in doing so.”
    Yo-Yo Ma
  • "Dr. Francis Collins is a national treasure, acclaimed not only for his scientific achievements but for his example as a bridge person in a polarized time.  He has served under every U.S. president of this century, in the process winning the respect of some of his fiercest critics. Amid the shrillness of our era, Dr. Collins offers a calming voice of hope, as well as practical suggestions on how to heal the nation’s wounds."
    Philip Yancey, author of What’s So Amazing About Grace
  • “Working with Francis Collins as he led the National Institutes of Health under three very different presidents, I saw firsthand his ability to find common ground and common goals. As timely as it is compelling, The Road to Wisdom is an encapsulation of those gifts, based on the reinforcing values of truth, science, faith, and trust.”
    Senator Roy Blunt
  • "Drawing on decades of public service, Francis Collins blends science, faith, and philosophy in The Road to Wisdom. Full of insights to help readers navigate today's complex world and grapple with critical issues including public health, partisanship, and climate change, this book is essential reading for anyone seeking clarity and direction."
    Jennifer Doudna, Nobel Laureate, and co-author of A Crack in Creation
  • “In this important and timely book, Francis Collins takes on fundamental questions of faith and science and suggests ways to bridge the gaps that divide us by more actively engaging with those with whom we disagree. Listening, understanding, and tolerance are the essential threads that weave their way throughout The Road to Wisdom—a book to learn from.”
    Kay Redfield Jamison, author of Fires in the Dark and An Unquiet Mind

On Sale
Sep 17, 2024
Page Count
304 pages

Francis S. Collins

About the Author

Francis S. Collins is a physician and geneticist. His groundbreaking work has led to the discovery of the cause of cystic fibrosis, among other diseases.  In 1993 he was appointed director of the international Human Genome Project, which successfully sequenced all 3 billion letters of our DNA. He went on to serve three Presidents as the Director of the National Institutes of Health.

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