Gatherings in Biosemiotics 1

Copenhagen May 24 - 27, 2001
A group photo

Gatherings in Biosemiotics intend to establish a regular framework for discussions of biosemiotics in the context of biology. Gatherings in Biosemiotics will be international annual meetings for scholarly exchange of ideas and views in semiotic biology. Denmark and Estonia will alternate as hosts for these meetings. The conference language will be English. This is the first meeting.

During the final decade of the century we just left behind, biosemiotics grew from being an idea inside the heads of a few (semioticians, theoretical biologists, ethologists ..) to becoming a more widely recognized perspective for the study of the "signs of life" as well as  the "life of signs". Due to its unifying vision biosemiotics has obvious implications for a  diversity of separate fields inside physics, biology, medicine, psychology, anthropology, semiotics, and philosophy as well as cross-disciplinary research programs such as cognitive science, artificial life or autonomous agents. Biosemiotic analysis may also offer interesting new ways of evaluating biological technology. On the other hand, biosemiotics may be seen as a fundamental new approach to theoretical biology.

Biosemiotics has been on the agenda of many international meetings, and the 1990s also saw a couple of publications devoted to biosemiotics proper. Until now however biosemiotics has not yet been the prime focus for any regular international activity, but rather has hitchhiked on other initiatives. This may well be a fruitful way of establishing such a new field of research, helping it to hinder premature fossilisation. But the need for a more focused platform for the discussion of biosemiotics as a biologically grounded domain of study nevertheless makes itself increasingly felt.

Since this is the first meeting of the kind we try to organize it in an open framework. We will have sessions touching on major themes of biological theory. Also, since this is a pilot balloon, we try to do it independently of funding and thus we have no invited speakers. We have received over 30 paper proposals from the specialists of Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, USA. Thus, we predict that many of world leading biosemioticians will attend this meeting. The abstracts are available here. Please take a look to the program.

The meeting will take place at the Institute for Molecular Biology, Øster Farimagsgade 2A, Room P 1.
Lunch and Coffee will be in the cantina.

Get-together-reception Thursday (May 24) 6 p.m. at Søjlehallen, Department for Biological Chemistry, Sølvgade 83. See map below:

There are plenty of hotels in central Copenhagen, but unfortunately hotels are expensive in this city. See e.g. HORESTA: The Official List of Danish Hotels (remember, Copenhagen in Danish is København)

A good three star hotel close to location is Ibsens Hotel, tel. 3313 1913. A single room costs 850-950 DKKr per night (1 DKKr. = appr. 0.26 DDM).

Time Table
Abstracts should be delivered (e-mailed) to Jesper Hoffmeyer, at The first deadline was March 15, however, the registration and abstract proposals may be accepted also after this date.

For registration, please send a letter to Jesper Hoffmeyer.
The registration fee is 200 DKKr (may be paid at the place; includes coffee and lunch; dinner is on your own).

Jesper Hoffmeyer, Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Copenhagen
Kalevi Kull, University of Tartu
Claus Emmeche, CPNSS, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen

See also Imatra meeting - Semiotics of Nature
Go to Gatherings in Biosemiotics 2