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The question of being pro- or anti-reductionist came up briefly in a recent lab meeting. This is a re-hash of a piece I wrote a few years ago in response to a research funding allocation question that touches on that subject. It relates to a question that was being posed by the government Agriculture/Environment department which supported much of the work I did back then. The specific example is in the context of designing a science program to address a policy question, but I think the method may be useful at the start of the design process for any new program of research.