Limits...
Metaphors in search of a target: the curious case of epigenetics.

Stelmach A, Nerlich B - New Genet Soc (2015)

Bottom Line: Carrying out research in genetics and genomics and communicating about them would not be possible without metaphors such as "information," "code," "letter" or "book." Genetic and genomic metaphors have remained relatively stable for a long time but are now beginning to shift in the context of synthetic biology and epigenetics.Findings show that while source domains for metaphors can be identified, such as our knowledge of electrical switches or of bookmarks, it is difficult to pinpoint target domains for such metaphors.This may be indicative both of struggles over what epigenetics means for scientists (natural and social) and of difficulties associated with talking about this, as yet, young field in the popular press.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Sociology and Social Policy, Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham , Nottingham , UK.

ABSTRACT

Carrying out research in genetics and genomics and communicating about them would not be possible without metaphors such as "information," "code," "letter" or "book." Genetic and genomic metaphors have remained relatively stable for a long time but are now beginning to shift in the context of synthetic biology and epigenetics. This article charts the emergence of metaphors in the context of epigenetics, first through collecting some examples of metaphors in scientific and popular writing and second through a systematic analysis of metaphors used in two UK broadsheets. Findings show that while source domains for metaphors can be identified, such as our knowledge of electrical switches or of bookmarks, it is difficult to pinpoint target domains for such metaphors. This may be indicative both of struggles over what epigenetics means for scientists (natural and social) and of difficulties associated with talking about this, as yet, young field in the popular press.

No MeSH data available.


“Epigenetics” in All English Language News (Nexis®).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4440632&req=5

Figure 0001: “Epigenetics” in All English Language News (Nexis®).

Mentions: As Figure 1 shows, the media gradually started to increase their attention to epigenetics after 2003 and the pace of research and reporting picked up after 2006 and 2008, with press releases driving these developments, together with trade and industry press and letter web-based publications. In 2008, the National Institutes of Health pledged $190 million to map the epigenetic “marks” on the human genome (NIH News2008). While scientific publications have increased steadily over time with an eight-fold increase from just over 1000 papers in 1992 to more than 8500 in 2011(Cherfas 2013), the mainstream media still have to catch up with these developments.Figure 1.


Metaphors in search of a target: the curious case of epigenetics.

Stelmach A, Nerlich B - New Genet Soc (2015)

“Epigenetics” in All English Language News (Nexis®).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4440632&req=5

Figure 0001: “Epigenetics” in All English Language News (Nexis®).
Mentions: As Figure 1 shows, the media gradually started to increase their attention to epigenetics after 2003 and the pace of research and reporting picked up after 2006 and 2008, with press releases driving these developments, together with trade and industry press and letter web-based publications. In 2008, the National Institutes of Health pledged $190 million to map the epigenetic “marks” on the human genome (NIH News2008). While scientific publications have increased steadily over time with an eight-fold increase from just over 1000 papers in 1992 to more than 8500 in 2011(Cherfas 2013), the mainstream media still have to catch up with these developments.Figure 1.

Bottom Line: Carrying out research in genetics and genomics and communicating about them would not be possible without metaphors such as "information," "code," "letter" or "book." Genetic and genomic metaphors have remained relatively stable for a long time but are now beginning to shift in the context of synthetic biology and epigenetics.Findings show that while source domains for metaphors can be identified, such as our knowledge of electrical switches or of bookmarks, it is difficult to pinpoint target domains for such metaphors.This may be indicative both of struggles over what epigenetics means for scientists (natural and social) and of difficulties associated with talking about this, as yet, young field in the popular press.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Sociology and Social Policy, Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham , Nottingham , UK.

ABSTRACT

Carrying out research in genetics and genomics and communicating about them would not be possible without metaphors such as "information," "code," "letter" or "book." Genetic and genomic metaphors have remained relatively stable for a long time but are now beginning to shift in the context of synthetic biology and epigenetics. This article charts the emergence of metaphors in the context of epigenetics, first through collecting some examples of metaphors in scientific and popular writing and second through a systematic analysis of metaphors used in two UK broadsheets. Findings show that while source domains for metaphors can be identified, such as our knowledge of electrical switches or of bookmarks, it is difficult to pinpoint target domains for such metaphors. This may be indicative both of struggles over what epigenetics means for scientists (natural and social) and of difficulties associated with talking about this, as yet, young field in the popular press.

No MeSH data available.