The (Re)making of Flow: Mediator Companies and Knowledge Production

  • Torbjorn Friberg
Keywords: Flow, Knowledge production, Mediator companies, Hybridity, Strathern


This article concerns the (re)making of the flow of knowledge by structural biologists employed in a mediator company located between the university domain and the business world in Sweden. Drawing on Marilyn Strathern’s theory of ‘cutting the flow’, this article ethnographically studies the flow of knowledge: how it is locally made, stopped, and remade in the laboratory. The first part reflects on the author’s learning process during the fieldwork, while the second part discusses the hybrid position of mediator companies and the practices of associated researchers. The third part investigates the status of these companies among policymakers and life science stakeholders. The fourth and fifth parts ethnographically describe the cut and the (re)making of the flow of knowledge in everyday laboratory work. Taken together, these five parts will result in an attempt to extend Strathern’s theoretical approach. 


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