Невидимый фронт: проблема жизнеобеспечения научных исследований в полевых условиях
The article focuses on interpreting empirical research on actors of different types
operating at one of the scientific bases in the region of Tomsk. This case study was carried out
using the methods of participant observation and semi-structured interviews with representatives
of a heterogeneous community which consisted of an interdisciplinary team of scientists,
locals, and people responsible for supporting the field phase of the work who are in fact located
on the borderline between the community of scientists and observers that are ‘not interested
in what is happening inside the walls of a laboratory’ (Latour 2002: 3). The author has
identified seven types of actors in the studied network among which the ‘on the borderline’
actors or actors-intermediaries play the most significant and the most unpredictable role.
However, actors’ behaviour is described not only through a set of their functions and properties:
the most complete picture emerges as a result of matching different practices applied in a
particular field of activity with certain strategies. The three strategies revealed in the article
and possible combinations of these constitute a kind of analytical matrix for further in-depth
explanation and study of relationships within a complex heterogeneous community.