2011 Biosemiotics Gathering: Program

The Eleventh Annual International Gathering in Biosemiotics will be held from June 21 to June 26, 2011 at the Rockefeller University for Biomedical Research in New York City, USA. The Gathering is organized by the Dactyl Foundation in collaboration with the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies.  Biosemiotics is an interdiscipline that seeks naturalistic understandings of mentalistic phenomena, grounded in biology, and, in turn, seeks understandings of biological processes in terms of a general semiotics.

What can be learned about human semiosis, interpretation, communication, creativity and meaning-making by studying less complex but analogous phenomena in cellular signaling, chemotaxis, zoosemiotics, embryonic development, or the immune system? Can the pervasive metaphoric usages of chemical “message,” genetic “information,” and  ”signaling” in contemporary biology be defined more precisely by taking them literally? While human symbolic representation may be species-specific–or at least unique to unusually big-brained animals–it must have emerged out of less complex semiotic processes and proto-semiotic processes.  What are the antecedents of human semiosis? And how can the exploration of these antecedents help bridge the unnatural gap between body and mind that was imposed centuries ago more for religious than scientific reasons? Participants from various fields in the sciences and humanities will explore these and other questions at the June gathering. All are welcome to attend.

Download PDF file Abstracts


Hotel / Travel / Meeting Location Information

Schedule (subject to change)

Tues. 21 June
Arrival day: Registration Location. For those of you who might want to register in person or pick up your conference materials and/or purchase your Thursday evening dinner ticket on arrival Tuesday, June 21, we will have two locations set up, one for those staying in Long Island City and one in Manhattan. Use one of these locations too if you wish to meet up with colleagues in order to have dinner together on Tuesday.  Conference materials and dinner tickets will also be available at the meeting site at Rockefeller University throughout the conference.

Tuesday, June 21
5:00-7:00 PM


Rockefeller University for Biomedical Research
Weiss Research Building, Room 305
1230 York Avenue (at East 66th Street) NY, NY  10065

Click on names to see full paper or slide presentation, if available.

Wiess Room 305

Wed 22 June

Coffee / Registration

Don Favareau
Gerald Ostdjek
Kalevi Kull

Coffee / Registration

Vinicius Romanini
Eugene Halton
Natalia Abieva


Victoria Alexander
Jeffrey Goldstein
Alexei Sharov


Almo Farina
Louis Goldberg
Dolores Steinman, et al.

Thurs 23 June


Paul Cobley
Dennis Goerlich et al.
Liz Stillwaggon-Swan


Marcello Barbieri
Jan-Hendrik Hofmeyr *
Joachim De Beule


Mark Reybrouck
David Rothenberg

Tina Roeske et al.


Jonathan Beever
Peter Harries-Jones

Dinner Party

Fri 24 June


Stephen Cowley
Prisca Augustyn
Susan Petrilli, et al.


Søren Brier
Eliseo Fernandez
Franco Giorgi et al.


Pierre-Louis Patoine
Myrdene Anderson
Dorion Sagan


Daniel Mayer
Sara Cannizzaro
Astrid Thome (film)

Sat 25 June

Gary Shank
Morten Tønnessen


Luciana Garbayo
Tim Ireland
Thomas Long


John Collier
Hidetaka Yakura
Anna Arango

Sunday 26 June
Departure day

While there is no official Biosemiotic event scheduled for departure day, if you have time in the city on Sunday, we suggest

The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street (at Central Park)
New York, NY 10021
(212) 288-0700
Sunday, June 26, 2011, 1 – 3 p.m. Sunday only: Learn how to sketch botany like Bellini.
Free with museum admission. Drawing materials provided and an instructor will be on hand!
Regular admission: $18, adults; $12, senior citizens (62 and over); $5, students with valid identification. Children under ten are not admitted to the Collection
The Frick is also open on Tuesday 10AM-5PM.