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The Nature and Context of Exploratory Experimentation: An Introduction to Three Case Studies of Exploratory Research

Waters, C. Kenneth (2007) The Nature and Context of Exploratory Experimentation: An Introduction to Three Case Studies of Exploratory Research. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Abstract: My aim in this article is to introduce readers to the topic of exploratory experimentation and briefly explain how the three articles that follow, by Richard Burian, Kevin Elliott, and Maureen O’Malley advance our understanding of the nature and significance of exploratory research. I suggest that the distinction between exploratory and theory-driven experimentation is multidimensional and that some of the dimensions are continuums. I point out that exploratory experiments are typically theory-informed even if they are not theory-driven. I also distinguish between research programs and experiments. Research programs that are largely exploratory, such as the ones discussed in these case studies, can involve both exploratory and theory-driven experimentation.


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Item Type: Preprint
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Waters, C. Kenneth
Additional Information: This is an introduction to and commentary on a group of three papers on exploratory experimentation in recent molecular life sciences. The papers are by Richard Burian, Kevin Elliott, and Maureen O’Malley; preprints of the articles are available on the PhilSci Archive: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00003982/ http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00003988/ http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00003985/
Keywords: exploratory experimentation, experiment, scientific practice, theory-driven, theory-informed, theory-biased, normal science
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Theory/Observation
General Issues > Experimentation
Depositing User: C. Kenneth Waters
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:16
Item ID: 3981
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3981

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