CFP- journal of the Canadian semiotics association, Recherches sémiotiques • Semiotic Inquiry – Biosemiotics: Discussions in the Margins

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The journal of the Canadian semiotics association, Recherches sémiotiques • Semiotic Inquiry, is planning a special issue on biosemiotics and is actively looking for contributors. Please download the Call for papers here> CFP_biosemiotics_margins (2).

Biosemiotic Achievement Award for the Year 2015 goes to Lynn Chiu and Scott F. Gilbert

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The Annual Biosemiotic Achievement Award was established at the annual meeting of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies (ISBS) on July 3rd, 2014 in conjunction with Springer Publishing, publishers of the Society’s official journal, Biosemiotics. The aim of the Award is to recognize those papers published in the journal that present novel and potentially important contributions to the ongoing project of biosemiotic research, its scientific impact and its future prospects.  This year, the Selection Committee – Don Favareau (ISBS), Karel Kleisner (Biosemiotics), Izabela Witkowska (Springer) – arrived at its decision to bestow the award on Lynn Chiu and Scott F. Gilbert’s ‘The Birth of the Holobiont: Multi-species Birthing Through Mutual Scaffolding and Niche Construction (published in the August 2015 issue of Biosemiotics, Vol 8 (2): 191–210). The Selection Committee highlighted the following four aspects of its particularly unique importance and excellence: 1) importance to the future development of biosemiotics; 2) potential for synthesis between biosemiotics and other disciplinary perspectives; 3) contribution to bringing new young scholars to the field; 4) opportunity for development by and within the biosemiotic perspective. Additional information about the Award 2015 can be found in the 2016 paper: ‘Biosemiotic Achievement Award for the Year 2015’, Biosemiotics 9(1): 151-153.


The ISBS in conjunction with Springer Publishing congratulates Lynn Chiu and Scott Gilbert as the recipients of the first Annual Biosemiotics Achievement Award, who are awarded a book voucher from Springer Publishers worth EUR 250, and an electronic subscription to Biosemiotics for 1 year.

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What is Biosemiotics?

Biosemiotics is an interdisciplinary research agenda investigating the myriad forms of communication and signification found in and between living systems. It is thus the study of representation, meaning, sense, and the biological significance of codes and sign processes, from genetic code sequences to intercellular signaling processes to animal display behavior to human semiotic artifacts such as language and abstract symbolic thought.

Such sign processes appear ubiquitously in the literature on biological systems. Up until very recently, however, it had been implicitly assumed that the use of such terms as “message” “signal” “code” and “sign” was ultimately metaphoric, and that such terms could someday effectively be reduced to the mere chemical and physical interactions underlying such processes. As the prospects for such a reduction become increasingly untenable, even in theory, the interdisciplinary research project of biosemiotics is attempting to re-open the dialogue across the life sciences – as well as between the life sciences and the humanities – regarding what, precisely, such ineliminable terms as “meaning” and “significance” might refer to in the context of living, complex adaptive systems.

The purpose of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies (ISBS) is to constitute an organizational framework for the collaboration among scholars dedicated to biosemiotic studies, and to propagate knowledge of this field of study to researchers in related areas, as well as to the public in general. Towards this end, the Society will assure the organization of regular meetings on research into the semiotics of nature, as well as to promote the publication of scholarly work on the semiotics of life processes.

Most fundamentally, the Society considers that one of its most important purposes is the promotion of a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas between researchers who are actively studying any of the myriad forms of organismic sign use found throughout the natural and cultural world. ISBS thus welcomes the membership and collaboration of scholars from all relevant disciplines, including biology, philosophy, ethology, cognitive science, anthropology, and semiotics.

And, of course, we welcome you to our website also!