In the social sciences, approaches have been favoured that
are independent of existing institutions. Such 'distancing' is much more difficult in the agricultural sciences where a vast body of technical knowledge has accumulated in institutions and, for problems to be solved and opportunities exploited efficiently, elements of both institutionalised and indigenous knowledge must be drawn upon.
The central concern of this paper is not, therefore,
whether one mode of research should replace the other, but how in terms of methods and institutions the most relevant aspects of each can be brought to bear on the issues at hand.