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:2/5/2015)... , Jan. 26, 2015   Epic Sciences , a ... today announced that Murali Prahalad , Ph.D., president and ... World Conference (PMWC) 2015: Silicon Valley, which is taking ... View, Calif. on January 26-28, 2015. ... of Age as Biomarkers." Last year, Epic Sciences was a ...
(Date:2/5/2015)... , Jan. 28, 2015 NXT-ID, Inc. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on the ... the upcoming RedChip Global Online CEO Conference on January ... Gino Pereira , CEO of NXT-ID will ... lead product, the Wocket smart wallet and its full ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4trb7t/biometrics_a ) has announced the ... report to their offering. , The ... individual is who she/he is claiming to be, and for ... unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprint, hand or palm print, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Epic Sciences to Present at Personalized Medicine World Conference 2015 on the Use of Circulating Tumor Cells as Cancer Biomarkers 2CEO of NXT-ID, Inc. to Discuss Company's Biometric Technologies at RedChip Online Conference January 29th 2CEO of NXT-ID, Inc. to Discuss Company's Biometric Technologies at RedChip Online Conference January 29th 3Biometrics - A Global Market Overview 2Biometrics - A Global Market Overview 3
(Date:3/2/2015)... Global Stem Cells Group.com has ... Bioengineering Co., Ltd. and its Chinese-American founder Mingjie ... stem cells training course in the City of ... Shenzhen HANK is a biotechnology company established in ... virologist, to integrate research, development, production, and sales ...
(Date:2/27/2015)... (PRWEB) February 27, 2015 Immunovaccine Inc. ... aware of a fraudulent press release disseminated this morning ... be from Immunovaccine. This press release states that Immunovaccine ... Inc. The press release did not originate from ... contained within the press release. Please note that ...
(Date:2/27/2015)... Feb. 27, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Market Report of Trypsin" report to their offering. ... aims at providing comprehensive data on Trypsin globally and regionally ... North America , Latin America ... attention to Trypsin This report focuses on three ...
(Date:2/27/2015)...  Pfenex Inc. (NYSE MKT: PFNX), a clinical-stage biotechnology ... announced that it will be presenting at CALBIO 2015 ... nd at 3pm PST. Patrick Lucy, chief business officer ... current state of the biosimilar industry landscape entitled ... For more information on CALBIO 2015 and The ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Global Stem Cells Group Announces Alliance with HANK Bioengineering Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen, China 2Global Stem Cells Group Announces Alliance with HANK Bioengineering Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen, China 3Immunovaccine Disclaims Hoax Press Release 2Global Market Report of Trypsin 2014-2018 2
Cached News: