Résumé : The questions which metaphor research has asked itself are revelatory both of the scientific climate and of the advances made. A general consensus on the nature and mechanisms of metaphor has not yet been reached, but the evolution from the ornamental to the constructivist view of metaphor has opened up new perspectives. The time has come to define the practical insights which metaphor research may contribute to the progress of science and humanity. Now that metaphor has been raised to the status of a fundamental category in thought and language, allowing people to structure and cope with the reality in which they live and move, now that many of its mechanisms have been identified and described, the question arises of the use to which these insights can be put, and on the manner in which this recent understanding of metaphor may cast a new light on both human and academic problems. The papers at this conference reflect on the question of how present-day scholarship can reap the fruits of the last few decades' advances in metaphor research, on whether metaphor produces suggestive hypotheses about standing problems, on whether people can be given training in creating new metaphors to see old problems in a new perspective, on the possible risks involved in resorting to metaphoric communication, and on paths which metaphor research should follow to meet present and future needs.