I have been told that there is a word, probably starting with B, coined in French, probably by Louis Pasteur, though used in English, which has the following meaning:

The successful blending of closed, lab based science with experience and knowledge of the limitations in enacting that same science in the field

What is the word?


1 Answer 1


Are you thinking of bricolage?


In the practical arts and the fine arts, bricolage (French for "tinkering") is the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work created by such a process.

The term bricolage has also been used in many other fields, including critical theory, education, computer software, and business.

  • 3
    not a bad guess, shame it was downvoted. (The only french B words that come to mind for me are "Bourgogne" and "Bourdeaux" :O )
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 13:31
  • Quite often the downvote is a petty attack on the commentor, not on the comment. Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 13:37
  • That's the one!
    – DaveRGP
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 13:57
  • 1
    No proof yet on Pasteur, but definitely a French :)
    – DaveRGP
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 14:42
  • 2
    @DaveRGP “Bricolage” seems to fit but be aware that the meaning is not nearly as specific in French (it can mean “tinkering”, “DIY” but also “bad work” or “quick fix”) and the word certainly wasn't coined to mean “mixing lab science with field work”.
    – Gala
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 20:54

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