Research Note: From co-location to co-presence: Shifts in the use of ethnography for the study of knowledge

Anne Beaulieu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnography has been successfully deployed in science and technology studies, and more specifically in laboratory studies. By using co-presence rather than co-location as a starting point to conceptualize and articulate fieldwork, new aspects of knowledge production are foregrounded in ethnographic studies. This research note proposes and discusses co-presence as an epistemic strategy that pays close attention to non-lab based knowledge production that can embrace textuality, infrastructure and mediation, and that draws into relief the role of ethnographer as author, participant-observer and scholar. Furthermore, co-presence as an approach to doing fieldwork generates new prospects for the study of knowledge production. It enables STS to develop the ethnographic study of highly mediated, distributed or non-lab-based fields, such as the humanities, e-research and e-science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-470
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2010
Externally publishedYes


  • database
  • ethnography
  • e-research
  • e-science
  • infrastructure
  • laboratory studies
  • methods
  • networks
  • WORK

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