HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Science historians ponder naming 'enemies' in science literature

In a perspective article published in the July 4, 2003 issue of the journal Science, Arizona State University biologists and historians of science Matthew Chew and Manfred Laubichler discuss a fundamental problem in the science of ecology its use of metaphorical language.

In the process, they are asking a question that has even greater consequences: can the way scientists communicate their findings warp or even dangerously mislead our perspective on science's meaning?

Chew and Laubichler argue that scientists' pervasive use of metaphors to encapsulate and express scientific ideas (for example, the use of literary metaphors such as "translation," "editing," "reading" for describing molecular processes), while necessary and powerful, also can carry with it the danger of adding false or misleading connotations to the concepts. The article, entitled "Natural Enemies Metaphor or Misconception?" focuses in particular on ecological science and its use of war and conflict metaphors to describe ecological dynamics involving introduced species.

In particular, the authors were struck by the pervasive and often casual use of the metaphorical phrase "natural enemies" to describe predator/prey and other similar inter-species ecological relationships. Though the metaphor is limited in its accuracy and carries with it unscientific connotations of conflict and antagonism, Laubichler notes that it is heavily used in ecological literature, often without explanation or definition.

"Though we didn't expect the term to be common, in the last four years we found about 60 references to 'natural enemies' in Science and Nature alone," Laubichler said. "It's a use of language that I find highly problematic. A scientist first uses 'natural enemies' as a metaphor for a particular ecological interaction but then it gets used in a different context and it doesn't take long for the idea to take hold that the category "natural enemy" actually exists out there in
'"/>

Contact: hathaway@asu.edu
Hathaway@asu.edu
480-965-6375
Arizona State University
3-Jul-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. A long-necked sea predator from China described in Science
2. Brown ecologist garners major National Science Foundation grant
3. Popular Science announces Third Annual Brilliant 10
4. Winner of 2004 EMBO Science Writing Prize announced
5. Study in Science reveals recreational fishing takes big bite of ocean catch
6. New paper in Science introduces revolutionary new paradigm for fishery management
7. Articles on forest fire risks published in BioScience
8. Ralph J. Cicerone nominated to be next National Academy of Sciences president
9. Canine word-learning research published in Science
10. Articles on remote sensing in ecology published in BioScience
11. Fostering Diversity in the Sciences Symposium

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Science historians ponder naming enemies science literature

(Date:3/10/2015)... 10, 2015 Transforming How We ... "Personalized Medicine in Human Space Flight" by ... Goodwin , Ph.D. was recently featured by Springer Science ... years. Specifically, "Personalized Medicine in Human Space ... published in 2013 and 2014 from Springer in the ...
(Date:3/4/2015)... , Mar. 04, 2015 Research and ... the addition of the "Global Biometrics Market ... offering. The market for biometric authentication ... of around 14% till 2020 The ... be increasing security needs, government projects and constant ...
(Date:3/2/2015)... , March 2, 2015   Neurotechnology , ... today introduced the SentiGaze Software Development Kit ... create applications that use off-the-shelf webcams to track eye ... gazes at a monitor. Heatmaps can be used for ... effectiveness of online advertising. The SDK can also be ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):"Personalized Medicine in Human Space Flight" Listed Among Most Influential Papers of 2013 and 2014 2Global Biometrics Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2020 2Global Biometrics Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2020 3Neurotechnology Releases SentiGaze SDK for Eye Movement Tracking Using Ordinary Webcams 2Neurotechnology Releases SentiGaze SDK for Eye Movement Tracking Using Ordinary Webcams 3
(Date:3/27/2015)... 27, 2015  Peter Walter was chosen as winner ... pioneering work on how proteins are transported between cellular ... mechanism that cells use to handle stress tied to ... professor of biochemistry at the University of California, San ... range of human diseases related to defective protein folding ...
(Date:3/27/2015)... York (PRWEB) March 27, 2015 Governor ... 2015 application period for 43North - the world’s largest ... including a grand prize of $1 million, six $500,000 ... from around the world to compete for prizes that ... enterprises in the Western New York region. , ...
(Date:3/26/2015)... CO (PRWEB) March 26, 2015 The ... has formed a strategic alliance with Designing Gig LLC ... their clients. , “Forging this alliance with ... Now we can extend a comprehensive, end-to-end, digital ... development, strategy, and execution,” said Chuck Miller, president of ...
(Date:3/26/2015)... 26, 2015 PAREXEL International Corporation ... clinical research organization , announced today that ... to acquire all of the business assets of ... provider of specialized pharmacovigilance services, based in ... detection, assessment, monitoring, and prevention of adverse ...
Breaking Biology Technology:German-born cell biologist Peter Walter wins the 2015 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science 2German-born cell biologist Peter Walter wins the 2015 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science 3Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Anounces Launch of Year Two of World's Largest Business Idea Competition and Opening of New Incubator Space in Buffalo, New York 2Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Anounces Launch of Year Two of World's Largest Business Idea Competition and Opening of New Incubator Space in Buffalo, New York 3Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Anounces Launch of Year Two of World's Largest Business Idea Competition and Opening of New Incubator Space in Buffalo, New York 4Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Anounces Launch of Year Two of World's Largest Business Idea Competition and Opening of New Incubator Space in Buffalo, New York 5The Market Element LLC and Designing Gig LLC Form Strategic Alliance 2PAREXEL Announces Execution of Definitive Agreement to Acquire Quantum Solutions India, Strengthening Leadership In Pharmacovigilance Services 2PAREXEL Announces Execution of Definitive Agreement to Acquire Quantum Solutions India, Strengthening Leadership In Pharmacovigilance Services 3PAREXEL Announces Execution of Definitive Agreement to Acquire Quantum Solutions India, Strengthening Leadership In Pharmacovigilance Services 4
Cached News: