2018 Biosemiotics Achievement Award

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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 Annual Biosemiotic Achievement Award seeks 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.

The winner of the Biosemiotics Achievement Award for 2018 is :

Mirko Cerrone for his article “Umwelt and Ape Language Experiments: on the Role of Iconicity in the Human-Ape Pidgin Language.”

The paper is open access until mid-June here.


19th Annual Biosemiotics Gathering in Moscow, July 1-5, 2019

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19th Annual Biosemiotics Gathering Call for Papers

Moscow, Russian Federation                       Faculty of Philosophy

July 1-5, 2019                                                Lomonosov Moscow State University

The Gatherings in Biosemiotics are annual meetings of world scholars studying the myriad of communication and sign processes in living systems, from cellular signaling and communication in physiological systems to organisms and interspecies communication, to the sign-processes that are embedded within and necessary for human cognition and culture.

The Organizing Committee of the 19th Gathering in Biosemiotics is pleased to invite scholars to submit abstracts on the meaning-making processes (semiosis) in living systems.

Biosemiotics is an interdisciplinary field that integrates theoretical biology with semiotics, a science on signification and meaning. This Gathering, now in its nineteenth year, occurs under the auspices of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies (ISBS) http://www.biosemiotics.org.

We envision participation of biologists, ecologists, philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, linguists, anthropologists, chemists, physical scientists, social scientists, and other scholars, and take a big tent approach to the field. We particularly welcome research in the following fields and areas:


  • Semiotic approaches in theoretical biology
  • Biology utilizing biosemiotics
  • The implications of biosemiotics to philosophy and humanities
  • Semiotic agents across scales and networks
  • Simplexity and agent power
  • Extended Evolutionary Synthesis
  • Habits, codes and learning
  • Cognitive semiotics of nonhumans and humans
  • Methodology of biosemiotics
  • Evolution of semiosis
  • Biosemiotics of health and disease
  • Endosemiotics
  • Teaching biosemiotics
  • Semiosis in ecological systems
  • Semiotic aspects of Anthropocene and bioethics


Abstract should be 300 to 600 words in a MS Word format. Please, start the abstract with a title (capital letters), list of authors, author affiliations, and email address of the communicating author (all on separate lines). One to three references are permitted. Abstracts should be submitted no later than January 31, 2019 to the following address: biosemiotics2019@philos.msu.ru

Please name the abstract file with the author’s (your) surname in capital letters, for instance SEBEOK.docx. Additional information about the Gathering can be found at http://biosemioticsmsu.org. Notification of acceptance: February 28, 2019.

The Organizing Committee will help obtaining visas to Russian Federation. Those interested should indicate so in the body of the email containing their submission.

For any question, please contact organizers: Alexei Sharov  sharov@comcast.net or Stanislav Bushev stbushev@gmail.com.

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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!