A New Border Zone in Science - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Science as Culture Year : 2013

A New Border Zone in Science


Modelling ecologists have entered ecology labs. They need large quantities of data to improve their models and are eager to collaborate with field naturalists. This modifies existing relationships between these two groups of natural scientists who have different ways of knowing. We observed how a new border zone was being opened up between modelling ecologists and field naturalists working in a National Botanical Conservatory in France. After an arduous start, due to the initial reluctance of the field naturalists, the modelling ecologists and the field naturalists performed several activities together: they transformed existing data, produced new data, interpreted all these data, articulated research questions and hypotheses. They also created a hybrid database, mixing data from different sources, and they co-authored papers. This clearly changed the professional status of the field naturalists, who felt they were finally treated as genuine research partners. Yet, the modelling ecologists and the field naturalists remained as two distinct groups, with their specific practices, aims, skills and identities. Although collaboration was considered a clear success from both sides, there were some lingering tensions. The field naturalists were still somewhat wary of being downgraded to the status of mere data providers. They were therefore determined to see to it that their work and way of knowing would receive due recognition in the long run.
Not file

Dates and versions

halshs-00806240 , version 1 (29-03-2013)



Isabelle Mauz, Céline Granjou. A New Border Zone in Science. Science as Culture, 2013, 22 (3), pp.30. ⟨10.1080/09505431.2012.753047⟩. ⟨halshs-00806240⟩
113 View
0 Download



Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More