Melville’s narrative is mentioned here to suggest, recall and emphasise ‘frontier research’, meant as a mode of investigation literally positioned at the extremes of knowledge, at the edge of what is known. The task of any research is to go beyond the already known, the already given. Beyond the mainstream, however, working at the edges means tackling controversial issues, which are difficult to settle with established methodologies: it calls for the ‘move of the knight’. In other words, it requires experimentation even in practice. More than that, frontier research is aimed at refuting dominant paradigms, thereby working with a high degree of uncertainty and failure.