Narrative Metadata: Leaving the War Metaphor Behind and Unpacking the Control Tactics of Biopower in COVID-19

Yetiskin E., oezdemir V.

OMICS-A JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/omi.2022.0123
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: COVID-19, science and technology studies, feminism, biopower, queering, metadata, SCIENCE
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Narratives are a veritable type of metadata. Narratives are power-laden storylines that conjure up emotions and enact value systems that markedly affect scientific practices, and to what ends, and for whom science and health innovations are made available. Narratives, if they are left unchecked, can undermine critical thinking and the agency of publics, threatening the possibilities for robust, responsible, relevant, and democratic science. One such narrative, a sociotechnical metadata in its own right, and of immense relevance in the current historical moment of the pandemic, is the uncritical use of the war and other military metaphors in COVID-19 science and planetary health interventions. In October 2022 issue of OMICS, Ebru Yetiskin adopts a biophilosophical transdisciplinary approach and feminist versions of science and technology studies to examine the ways in which the war discourse and other military metaphors have been deployed for the sake of biopower during COVID-19. In this article, we discuss the need to critically unpack the narrative metadata to leave the war metaphor behind, and hold to account the control tactics of biopower embedded in the COVID-19 pandemic.