Seminar on Biosemiotics

In 1988, I organized a wekly seminar on biosemiotics at Moscow State University, Russia. I invented the term "biosemiotics" to emphasize the semiotic nature of life. As I discovered several years later, this term has been used already by Friedrich Rothschild in 1962, and Juri Stepanov in 1971. The seminar on biosemiotics was a continuation of the working group on Theoretical Biology that was organized by Alexander Levich in 1974. Activities in this group included regular seminars, classes on advanced mathematics (mathematical logic, set theory, group theory, topology, categories), and winter schools which usually had >150 participants. Active participants included Sergei Meyen (paleo-biologist) and Yuli Schreider (mathematician and semiotician). In 1978 the group was dissolved by the order of the dean, who suspected that the activities of the group did not match well with the communist regime in Russia. Within the seminar on biosemiotics I tried to follow the traditions of our previous working group on theoretical biology. In January-February 1989 we had our first winter school on biosemiotics in Soushnevo (near Moscow). The second winter school was in January-February 1990 at the same location. We had 100-120 participants, some of them can be found on the photograph below which was taken in 1990 in Soushnevo (click on the photograph to enlarge it).

Below find some topics of our discussions.

Alexei Sharov - 3/15/97