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The policy of testing hypotheses in Chilean science. The role of a hypothesis-driven research funding programme in the installation of a hypothesis-driven experimental system in visual neuroscience

Garrido Wainer, Juan Manuel and Hirmas Montecinos, Natalia and Trujillo Osorio, Nicolás (2022) The policy of testing hypotheses in Chilean science. The role of a hypothesis-driven research funding programme in the installation of a hypothesis-driven experimental system in visual neuroscience. [Preprint]

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Abstract

O'Malley et al. (2009) and Haufe (2013) suggest that the philosophical idea of science as hypothesis testing generates a pernicious bias towards hypothesis-driven research and against exploratory research in the review process of research proposals and the allocation of resources. This paper addresses a conceptual objection to the argument by O'Malley et al. (2009) and Haufe (2013). We argue that the funding agencies' concepts of good science do not belong to epistemological or philosophical contexts but to political and institutional contexts. This means that correcting (potential) biases in research funding does not entail correcting funding agencies' (supposed) philosophies of science. To illustrate this point, we provide an in- depth historical case study: the granting of funds to neuroscientist Pedro Maldonado by the Chilean funding programme FONDECYT. This is a relevant comparison as FONDECYT's guidelines explicitly promote hypothesis-driven research and endorse a view of "good science" as hypothesis testing. However, we will see that the overall influence of the philosophical idea of science as hypothesis testing over this funding programme, the research project, and the actual practice of hypothesis testing is somewhat limited. The concept of science as hypothesis testing seems to play a crucial institutional or political (not philosophical) role in allowing the conceptual articulation of social expectations and researchers' expectations.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Garrido Wainer, Juan Manueljgarrido@uahurtado.cl0000-0003-4509-1121
Hirmas Montecinos, Natalia0000-0002-7103-1731
Trujillo Osorio, Nicolás0000-0001-8521-2923
Additional Information: To appear in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 96 (2022) 68–76
Keywords: hypothesis-driven research; funding agencies; philosophy of science; experimental systems; policy research concepts; Chilean science; FONDECYT; visual neuroscience
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
Depositing User: Juan Garrido Wainer
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 14:52
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 14:52
Item ID: 21396
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2022.09.006
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
Date: October 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21396

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