Field Notes are the mobile or expeditionary equivalent of the traditional and familiar lab notebook used by scientists to document their experimental work. Field Notes have two functions – primarily to record raw observations, data and findings in real time but also to note impressions, reflection and commentary about the record in the moment. Biologists and botanists (among others) will be very familiar with maintaining and using field notebooks, but it occurred to me that Field Notes is an ideal container for my meanderings and explorations that might best be called thought experiments in herbal medicine. This gets round some of the classical roadblocks that crop up, when considering how, when and why and even whether to make information available… (Publish or perish? Peer Review? Update my social media feed? Get more “likes” etc) Field Notes as a container means no particular value or status is imposed or required other than authenticity. At time of entry there is no way of distinguishing a future dead end from a philosopher’s stone, and no need to even think about either, which takes pressure off the writer and – if willing risk it – the reader. We’ll see.
*Field Notes is a brand of lovingly produced notebooks and related items: use their notebooks for…field notes.