Constructing social representations of science and technology: the role of metaphors in the press and the popular scientific magazines
This paper aims to reveal the social representations about the nature and the evolution of Space-Science & Astronomy, Genetics & Biotechnology, Natural Sciences and Engineering & Informatics, through analyzing active (i.e., original and creative) metaphors found in 2303 technoscientific articles published in four Greek daily newspapers and two popular scientific magazines. The analysis showed that all metaphors concerning the nature of the four disciplinary fields can be clustered into four superordinate categories that juxtapose these fields to: (1) a construct; (2) a supernatural process; (3) an activity extending the frontiers of knowledge; (4) a dipole of promise and/or scare. The most frequently employed category is that representing technoscience as an activity extending the frontiers of knowledge. Furthermore, the evolution of the four disciplines is mainly represented as a violent process. Each discipline though, seems to be characterized by combinations of different categories of metaphors. Therefore each discipline evokes different social representations.