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Chapter 31 : The Ode to Objectivity
The author and Jacques Monod regularly had numerous conversations. Two major themes were present in Monod’s thoughts. The first one was concerned with the methodology necessary for investigating phenomena; it is developed at length in K. Popper's books, and, indeed, Monod has contributed to their diffusion in France: the best way to contribute to building science is to progress by making conjectures and trying to refute them. The second theme is clear in the allostery theory. The author emphasizes the hierarchical order of the allosteric regulation and regulations of transcription. He describes the main lines of a conjecture which would help to state precisely the question—Is a still more general system, allowing, for instance, the coupling between the cellular metabolism and macromolecular syntheses, possible?—keeping in mind the methodology alluded. This chapter outlines the conjecture and questions raised by research work of Jacques Monod. The author used to submit all the problems for comment to Monod, just a short time before his death. As he always did, Monod offered new conjectures and then proposed experiments to refute them.