The term "Field work" is meant to suggest that excess time spent in an armchair, or in front of a computer terminal, leads to a shortage of new ideas about the scope of computing in scientific inference (and sometimes about other things too).

One can do field work by becoming a member of interdisciplinary centers (e.g., the CMU Center for Light Microscope Imaging and Biotechnology and the CMU/PITT/PSC Keck Center for Advanced Training in Computational Biology), interacting with scientists at conferences, in informal settings within one's institution, reading scientific journals, and so on.

An inferior approach to field work is to peruse textbooks, since they typically emphasize tidy context-free results that do not reflect the inferences that are required in their application, or even the haphazard inference that gave rise to the by-now tidy results.