Gatherings in Biosemiotics 2

Tartu, Estonia - June 14-17, 2002

Few photos

A selection of papers from the 1st Gatherings is published.

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

During the 1990s, 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 the Gatherings however biosemiotics has not yet been the prime focus for any regular international activity.

We will have sessions touching on major themes of biological theory. We try to do it independently of funding and thus we have no invited speakers. For the First Gatherings, 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 the 2nd meeting.

Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu
Jakob von Uexküll Centre
Tallinn Zoo

Program (a detailed version here):
June 13-14
Arrival to Tartu.
June 14-16
Sessions on major themes of semiotic biology, starting at noon of June 14.
June 17
A bus-trip to Puhtu (the place where Jakob von Uexküll lived in 1930s, at the coast of Baltic Sea), with a seminar in forest. From Puhtu, the bus will take participants to Tallinn. In the evening of June 17, we will have a zoosemiotic session in Tallinn Zoo.
June 18
Departure from Tallinn.

The meeting will take place in the University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. Flying to Tallinn, one should take bus (2 hours) to Tartu. Sessions will be held from the noon of June 14 to the evening of June 16.
The last day (June 17) will include a bus-trip Tartu-Puhtu-Tallinn (with a seminar in Puhtu), and a night session in Tallinn Zoo. Departure from Tallinn on June 18.

Registration & information:
For registration, please send a letter to Kaie Kotov (secretary of the meeting). Please add also your affiliation and your postal address.
Our address:
Fax: +372-7-375933
Postal address: Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Tiigi Str. 78, 50410 Tartu, Estonia

Hotel should be booked in advance - see information on hotel reservation.
The registration fee is 500 EEK [about 30 USD] (may be paid at the place; includes conference materials, coffee and bus trip; dinner is on your own).

Time Table:
Title of the talk (together with a brief abstract) should be delivered (e-mailed) to Kaie Kotov, at

The selected papers from the First Gatherings in Biosemiotics have been published in Sign Systems Studies, vol. 30(1), 2002. The papers from the Second Gatherings will also be published in a top-level international journal.

A photo from the first meeting, Gatherings in Biosemiotics 1, Copenhagen May 24 - 27, 2001.

- few organisers, and speakers

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