The Metaphor of Patina
Manuel Ortega-Calvo1,2, José Manuel Santos-Lozano1,2, José Lapetra1,2, Jordi Salas-Salvadó2,3, Miguel Angel Martínez-González2,4, Rosa Lamuela-Raventós2,5, Ramón Estruch2,6
1Department of Family Medicine, Distrito Sanitario de Atención Primaria de Sevilla, Sevilla, España.
2CIBER de la Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y de la Nutrición, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, España.
3Human Nutrition Unit, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain.
4Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
5Department of Nutrition and Food Science, School of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
6Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2014.44064   PDF   HTML   XML   4,391 Downloads   5,984 Views   Citations


Patina is the word used for the green or brown film formed on the surface of old bronze, an excess of which can mask the true characteristics of the original masterpiece. Filippo Baldinucci used the word patina in a modern sense for first time in his book “Tuscan Vocabulary of the Art of Design”. Metaphors have been part of philosophical speech since the time of Plato. This figure of speech is used to attempt to provide a sensitive presence of an idea to improve understanding and to make a more vivid perception of that concept. On analysing the creative process of contemporary research on health topics and its further dissemination, we defend the epistemological thesis that there is always some degree of patina on an original article and this may obscure the underlying scientific work. Conclusion: We consider that patina in scientific papers is very different from the concept of epidemiological bias. We think that any researcher who reads an original article acts as a restorer of knowledge. If a reader is aware of the existence of scientific patina, that reader will know how to look through it and see the masterpiece hidden underneath.

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Ortega-Calvo, M. , Santos-Lozano, J. , Lapetra, J. , Salas-Salvadó, J. , Martínez-González, M. , Lamuela-Raventós, R. and Estruch, R. (2014) The Metaphor of Patina. Open Journal of Philosophy, 4, 623-627. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2014.44064.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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