Exploratory experiments (Philosophy of Science 2005, 72: 888-899, JSTOR Link

Philosophers of experiment have acknowledged that experiments are often more than mere hypothesis-tests, once thought to be an experiment’s exclusive calling. Drawing on examples from contemporary biology, in this piece I make an additional amendment to our understanding of experiment by examining the way that ‘wide’ or ‘high-throughput’ instrumentation can, for reasons of efficiency, lead scientists away from traditional hypothesis-directed methods of experimentation and towards exploratory methods.