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:


(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based and ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD 18.98 ... Continue Reading ... ...      ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017 Optimove , ... by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today ... Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, ... product and replenishment recommendations to their customers based ... predictions of customer intent drawn from a complex ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... PMD Healthcare announces the release of its ... System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and ... is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care ... innovative solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare ... developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. ... mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that ... insurance coverage option for U.S. consumers who want to ... DarioHealth has signed strategic alliance agreements with partners ... insurance coverage benefits, and if approved, will supply and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... BEIJING , March 24, 2017 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... products in China , today announced that its ... the expiration date of the plan from March 27, 2017 to ... proposal. About Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... proud to announce it has become the premiere team-building cooking event company in San Diego. ... such as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ranked #1 in its category on Trip ... its new team building format, a way for teams to not only interact with one ...
(Date:3/23/2017)...  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE MKT: BPMX), a specialty ... today reported financial results for the quarter and ... an update on the company,s clinical development efforts ... are pleased to report that last year was ... Anja Krammer. "We achieved key clinical milestones and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: