News of the WeekBiomedical Policy

NIH Urged to Involve the Public in Policy-Making

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Science  10 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5374, pp. 152
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5374.152a

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To cure a "major weakness" in communication between leaders at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the public, a group of experts at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that NIH create a new committee in the director's office and a network of public liaison offices throughout the agency that would enable public representatives to communicate more directly with NIH's brass about research policy. This recommendation is just one in a list of a dozen issued last week by IOM, part of a report commissioned by Congress, which asked IOM to carry out this 6-month review of how NIH goes about ranking its funding priorities in order to help clarify its own decision-making.