Metaphor in Ebola’s popularized scientific discourse


popularized scientific discourse
scientific dissemination
disease metaphors
Ebola metaphors.
popularización del discurso científico
divulgación científica
metáforas sobre enfermedades
metáforas del Ébola

How to Cite

Balteiro Fernández, I. (2017). Metaphor in Ebola’s popularized scientific discourse. Ibérica, (34), 209–230. Retrieved from


This article identifies, describes and analyzes specific instances of metaphors used to represent and explain ten “frame elements” in popularized scientific articles devoted to the Ebola disease or virus, within the overall “health frame”. The descriptive and explanatory metaphors studied derive from culturally salient objects or experiences which allow scientists, medical professionals and journalists to effectively communicate scientific information and knowledge about Ebola to non-experts in less complex, understandable and down-to-earth terms. Apart from the identification and characterization of specific instances of Ebola metaphors (corresponding to general framings such as EBOLA IS WAR or RECOVERY IS A ROAD), this work also focuses on the purposes, functions and effects that these metaphors, usually considered as reformulation techniques (Jacobi, 1994), have in the popularization of such an important health threat which has quite recently caused general hysteria and almost a global crisis. By “popularization” we mean the communicative function that metaphor plays in approaching a scientific issue to the world population or to society in general, or the process of bringing science to everyday life (Väliverronen, 1993). For such purposes, a sample of articles from Scientific American has been considered

Copyright (c) 2017 Isabel Balteiro Fernández

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


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