It was an instructive day in the life of science in Australia yesterday.

The theory was in evidence in federal parliament, as Senators began debating a private member’s bill to relax the ban on the cloning of human embryos for medical research …

“Human life is an end in itself … it is not and should not ever be an instrument of science, or a disposable ingredient for improvements in clinical practice ..” – Liberal Senator Nick Minchin.

Advocates of embryonic stem cell research have been trying to “peddle false hope” about the potential medical benefits. — Family First senator Steve Fielding.

“We don’t know what doors we will be opening if we pass this bill.” — Labor Senator and cancer survivor Steve Hutchins.

The practice was in evidence in a Sydney hospital, as a Senator and his wife watched their baby being born…

Senior Labor senator Stephen Conroy and his wife Paula Benson have had a child using a surrogate mother and a separate egg donor. In what is believed to be a first for Australia, Ms Benson called on the two friends to help out after she was afflicted by ovarian cancer and left unable to conceive or carry a baby. Their baby girl, Isabella, was born in a Sydney hospital yesterday. Senator Conroy and his wife are from Victoria but the entire process was carried out in NSW because altruistic surrogacy is illegal in Victoria. – Sydney Morning Herald.

Talking about the theory of scientific development can be important. Watching the practice unfold can be transcendant.

PS: Tomorrow’s edition of Crikey will arrive a little later than usual so we can bring the results and analysis of the crucial US mid-term Congressional elections. Look out for it mid-afternoon.