This is the Call for Papers for the Eighth Annual International Gatherings in Biosemiotics, to be held on June 23-28, 2008 at the University of the Aegean (Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering) on the island of Syros in Greece.
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 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 (including the humanities) regarding what, exactly, such a things as “meaning” or “significance” might refer to in the context of living, complex adaptive systems.
The Scientific Advisory Committee of the Eighth Annual Gatherings in Biosemiotics welcomes paper proposals from researchers in any academic discipline who are investigating the real-world use of sign processes among or within living organisms.