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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
    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 11:16
    Item ID: 3981
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3981

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