WASHINGTON--Biomedical researchers need to win over the public to survive attacks on their integrity and answer questions about the value of their work to society, says cardiologist Kenneth Shine, the new president of the Institute of Medicine (IoM).

"We have to work harder to bolster confidence in universities and in research," says Shine, named last month to a five-year term as president of the 470-member institute that is closely affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences. "People have lost sight, in the current environment, of how fragile these institutions are, and how important it is that we protect and sustain them."

According to Shine, reports of improper conduct by segments of the research establishment in recent years--including the indirect costs scandals and allegations of research fraud-- have been greatly exaggerated. Scientists, for the most part, are already fully accountable for the federal money they receive, he says.

"We [the research...

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