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Tuesday, 3 December 2002
Page: 7067

Senator STOTT DESPOJA (10:30 PM) —I just wanted to put on record that, while this seems to be a somewhat small amendment that does not seem to influence the legislation in a big way, the Democrats did have a couple of pedantic concerns in relation to the emphasis on applied and basic research. Senator Collins says that this amendment makes it clearer that the purpose of knowledge sought by research on embryos is to improve medical treatment. However, I do not think this chamber should overlook the fact that there are crucial basic science questions that ES research has the potential to address—not just applications, although applications could subsequently flow from greater basic science knowledge. So there is an argument that the current wording perhaps better reflects scientific realities, because there are basic and applied science issues at hand, not just improving medical treatments and applications. We are conscious of that, but I can read the numbers in the chamber. I congratulate Senator Collins on being so pedantic.