Welcome to the GATHERINGS!

The best place to look for significant ideas about signifying natural processes.

Support this meeting
The meeting is supported by The University of Copenhagen, and The University of Tartu. We are hoping to find more sponsors!

Remember the ISHPSSB!!!
You might like to coordinate the Gatherings with the ISHPSSB meeting this year: The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, including the life sciences as well as history, philosophy, and social studies of science. Their next meeting is in Vienna, July 16-20, 2003, hosted by the Konrad Lorenz Institute, see more at this link. Surprise! There will also be a session on biosemiotics in Vienna!

Symbols grow ...
- at least according to the American philosopher, scientist, logician, and founder of semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce. The literature on biosemiotics is growing. See some online publications on biosemiotics and on (and by) Peirce here. See also pages from previous meetings archived here (mirror here).

The meeting this year is organized by the Biosemiotics Group (at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Center for the Philosophy of Nature and Science Studies) at the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen. Organizing committee: Kalevi Kull (University of Tartu), Jesper Hoffmeyer and Claus Emmeche (University of Copenhagen) and Søren Brier (The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University).

Gatherings in Biosemiotics 3, Copenhagen, July 11-14, 2003

Biologists meet philosophers and semioticians to discuss a new and unique perspective upon life

What is biosemiotics about ?
Biosemiotics (bios = life & semion = sign) is an interdisciplinary field of theoretical and empirical studies of communication and signification in living systems. Sign processes, from molecular to ecological and evolutionary scales, have already been studied during the entire history of biology, but very often the description of informational-communicative aspects of living systems has been considered to be "only metaphorical" and ultimately replaceable by chemical or physical descriptions. Biosemiotics, in contrast, attempts to see informational sign processes as something genuine, a basic set of phenomena of life that calls for a new understanding. Semiotics is the study of meaning, sense, and significance of dynamic codes and relational sign processes. There is a deep interaction of biology and semiotics. Signification as a specific property of living systems may be considered just as fundamental as their molecular organization. In this way, biosemiotics may become a basis for both semiotics and biology.

What is the aim of the Gatherings ?!
Gatherings in Biosemiotics intend to establish a regular framework for discussions of biosemiotics in the context of biology. These gatherings will be international annual meetings for scholarly exchange of ideas and views in semiotic biology. Denmark and Estonia alternated as hosts for the first of these meetings. This 2003 meeting will be in Copenhagen, and in 2004 we'll gather in Prague.

What will happen at the Copenhagen meeting?
The programme committee has set-up one coherent plenum session organized around specific themes. See programme. We'll try to get good time for discussion, at least in the evenings. There will also be social events, an excursion to a biosemiotic company (sic!) and some still unpredictable events.

Meeting programme !
Click here to see the programme. See also the list of abstracts here.

Where will the meeting take place?
The meeting will take place at Botanisk Auditorium, in the Botanical Institute, entrance from the street at Gothersgade 140 (at the corner of Botanical Garden) (see the lower arrow on this map)

There are plenty of hotels in central Copenhagen, but unfortunately hotels are expensive in this city. See lists such as HORESTA: The Official List of Danish Hotels (remember, Copenhagen in Danish is København); "Hotels in Denmark"; or "Hotels Copenhagen".
A good three star hotel close to location is Ibsens Hotel, phone (+45) 3313 1913. A single room costs 850-950 DKKr per night. By the way, see also "Use it": the Copenhagen Low Budget Tourist Guide.

For registration, please send a letter to Jesper Hoffmeyer, at hoffmeyer[ at ]mermaid.molbio.ku.dk. The registration fee is 500 DKKr (may be paid at the place; includes coffee and lunch; dinner is on your own). Please observe that exchange to DKK (the currency "Kroner") is needed, Denmark has not yet joined EU's common currency the Euro. 1,00 Euro is about 7,43 DKK.

Special event
This year we are planning a special event - an excursion to a biosemiotic company to see its production and discuss the relevance of biosemiotics for applied molecular biology, genomics, proteomics, etc. More information about this later on.

The meeting has to be arranged at low budget scale which means that in general we cannot pay for travel or accommodation.

How to get there
Take the train from Kastrup Airport to the Central Station. The nearest station to the meeting place is called Norreport (in Danish: "Nørreport") Station. General information about getting around in Copenhagen, see this link. Additional train and bus information.

Where can I learn more about biosemiotics?
Here is a list of books and special issues of journals dealing (exclusively or mainly) with biosemiotics.

[closed by now] Call for papers: submit an abstract
Time Table: Abstracts, at about 200-250 words (with name, title, mailing address, email) should be delivered by email to Jesper Hoffmeyer, at hoffmeyer [ at ] mermaid.molbio.ku.dk. Deadline: March 1, 2003.

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