Migrant metaphors and growth of the scientific community: The case of evolutionary land-scapes. For several decades now, important and in-depth studies have analyzed scientific metaphors, trying for example to determine a principled distinction between metaphors and models. Not a simple task. Several epistemological features are shared between the two. When some distinction is made, metaphors are sometimes seen as preliminary to exact and rigorous mathematical models. In this article I focus on one and only metaphor of biology: evolutionary landscapes. I describe its role in the development of evolutionary science, mov-ing from its success in several fields in the 1930s and ’40s to deepening its origin in the con-text of population genetics. By drawing a distinction between native and migrant metaphor, I provide some elements of reflection on the value of metaphor as a generator of common lan-guage between separated scientific fields, and as a tool for understanding models. In this way I also suggest overcoming the model vs. metaphor opposition, especially the idea that meta-phors are a more rudimental knowledge tool than models.
Keywords: Model, metaphor, scientific language, evolution, adaptive landscape.