Intervention as both Test and Exploration: Reexamining the PaJaMo Experiment based on Aims and Modes of Interventions

Ruey-Lin Chen
National Chung Cheng University
Hsiao-Fan Yeh
National Chung Cheng University
This paper explores multiple experimental interventions in molecular biology. By “multiple,” we mean that molecular biologists often use different modes of experimental interventions in a series of experiments for one and the same subject. In performing such a series of experiment, scientists may use different modes of interventions to realize plural goals such as testing given hypotheses and exploring novel phenomena. In order to illustrate this claim, we develop a framework of multiple modes of experimental interventions to analyze a series of experiments for a single subject. Our argument begins with a brief characterization of Craver and Darden’s taxonomy of experiments, because the taxonomy they have made implies various modes of interventions. We propose to extract two interventional directions and two interventional effects from their taxonomy as the basis of classification. The vertical or inter-level direction means that an intervention is performed between different levels of organization and the horizontal or inter-stage direction means that an intervention is performed between different stages of a mechanism. Interventions may produce an excitatory or an inhibitory effect. As a consequence, we can classify modes of interventions according to different directions and effects. We illustrate our claims by doing a case study of the PaJaMo experiment, which is a series of experiments for a single subject. The final goal in this paper is to provide a taxonomy of characteristics of experimentation in which the PaJaMo experiment is adequately located.
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