Science advocates who attended a “listening session” on the use of fetal tissue in medical research held today by senior officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C., say they are optimistic that they were listened to and heard. But many researchers remain concerned about reports that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering withdrawing funding for such studies, which are fiercely opposed by antiabortion advocates.
“It was a very good conversation. It was not a ‘check the box’ meeting,” says Kevin Wilson, director of public policy and media relations for the American Society for Cell Biology in Bethesda, Maryland.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about the science,” adds Jennifer Zeitzer, director of public affairs at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), also in Bethesda. Zeitzer was accompanied by FASEB board member Patricia Morris, a reproductive biologist at The Rockefeller University in New York City.