The Biosemiotics Achievement Award was established in 2014 to recognize novel and important contributions to the field.

The statutes governing the award can be found here.


The winner of the Biosemiotic Achievement Award 2021 is:

Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen and Majid D. Beni for their article “Active inference and abduction”. 

The background target of the research going into the present article is to forge an intellectual alliance between, on the one hand, active inference and the free-energy principle (FEP), and on the other, Charles S. Peirce’s theory of semiotics and pragmatism. In the present paper, the focus is on the allegiance between the nomenclatures of active and abductive inferences as the proper place to begin reaching at that wider target. The paper outlines the key conceptual elements involved in a naturalistic rendering of Peirce’s late semiotic and logical notion of abductive reasoning. The target is a cognitive-biological model of abduction which preserves the functional integrity of an organism and fulfils the existential imperative for living beings’ evidence of existence. Such a model is an adaptation of Peirce’s late logical schema of abduction proposed in his largely unpublished works during the early 20th century. The proposed model is argued to be a feasible sketch also of recent breakthroughs in computational (sensu Bayesian) cognitive science

Previous years

2020 Filip Jaroš and Matěj Pudil ,”Cognitive systems of human and non-human animals: At the crossroads of phenomenology, ethology and biosemiotics.”

2019 Yogi Hale Hendlin, “I Am a Fake Loop: the Effects of Advertising-Based Artificial Selection.”

2018 Mirko Cerrone, “Umwelt and Ape Language Experiments: on the Role of Iconicity in the Human-Ape Pidgin Language.”

2017 Timothy C. Mullet, Almo Farina, Stuart H. Gage, “The Acoustic Habitat Hypothesis: An Ecoacoustics Perspective on Species Habitat Selection.”

2016 Sergio L. Rodríguez Gómez, “Recurrences and Agential Meaning Making: Laying a Path in Walking.”

2015 Lynn Chiu and Scott F. Gilbert, “The Birth of the Holobiont: Multi-species Birthing Through Mutual Scaffolding and Niche Construction.”