Medical Museion posts

What metaphors are we molecularising by?

By November 26, 2010 No Comments

Drew Berry, the outstanding molecular animator at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, says (according to Science Roll):

Scientists have always done pictures to explain their ideas, but now we’re discovering the molecular world and able to express and show what it’s like down there

I know Melbourne, Australia, in ‘down under’. But is the molecular world ‘down there’? Is ‘going down’ the best metaphor for going from the macroworld of the anatomical body to the microworld of the molecular body? Is it a vertical movement that comes first to mind? Are we going ‘deeper’ into the body, as if we were entering a deep mine?

My intuition is that we move ‘into’ the molecular world rather than ‘down to’ it.

Maybe Drew Berry is thinking in analogy to a microscope, where we look ‘down’ through the microscope on the tiny things below?

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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