laboratory life is latour's first book, so i'm assuming it'll be somewhat less obtuse than the others i've tried. seems like i'm right so far. he's actually got a very clear motivation that he lays out right at the beginning of the book.
Whereas we now have fairly detailed knowledge of exotic tribes, we remain relatively ignorant of the details of equivalent activity among tribes of scientists, whose work is commonly heralded as having startling or, at least, extremely significant effects on our civilisation.woot! hopeful clarity will lead to insight.