Field Notes_ The essence of humanity

The human race has advanced at an almost unimaginable pace, from remote hunter-gatherers to digitally interconnected globetrotters. A change that, in geological timescales at least, has happened in the blink of an eye. 

No matter the speed, however, or even the relative value of some of the change, one defining aspect of the human character shines through, our constant need to question. 

Over centuries inquisitive minds have discovered the answers to longstanding questions, which have had a profound impact on all of our lives. Galileo, Newton, the Wright brothers, Berners-Lee, are a tiny fraction of the great minds who have looked beyond conventional wisdom to seek out new ideas and answers.

Regardless of where they sit in history, they all share a common theme; what may end with a ‘eureka’ moment is most often built on the foundations of place, thought and observation. 

Most often behind this process are field notes, the scribbles, drawings and observations gathered in a place and time. The classic ‘field note’ could be considered as the observations of the naturalists, Darwin or Muir, but they are no longer confined to pen and paper, and they are not confined to the realms of scientists.

Imagine the insights gained from tapping into the observations of a World Tour cycling team rider as they endure extremes, day after day, week after week, in a high-performance environment that for most is akin to an alien world. They will not have a pen and paper to write things down, but their views and thoughts are unique, offering a wealth of fresh understanding.

To ski or snowboard the high mountains, far removed from human touch, requires respect and an approach to planning that will have been established over thousands of days in the mountains, in all conditions. It’s a process where each experience builds on the last and where an expert observation will build a picture that few of us can ever dream to see.

These experiences can benefit us all. Whether by pen and paper, phone or stored in our minds, field notes continue to be a fundamental aspect of human development, especially when discussed and explored further. When our respective observations are brought together they are elevated to new ideas made from unique environments.

It could a view from the POC lab, a Tour de France stage, an 8000m peak or simply a commute to work, but sharing different perspectives, ideas and leaving no stone unturned will lead to more innovation and better technology – that’s the essence of Field Notes. 


Episode one of Field Notes takes us on a journey with Lachlan Morton, professional rider with EF Education First Pro Cycling Team, a rider with an unrivalled character, sense for riding and who can bring unique observations from unique environments.