Dear biosemiotic community,
As you know, Europe is being hit by a second wave of high infection rates and countries are once again imposing restrictions in order to contain the pandemic. The Czech Republic is no exception, and both the government as well as Palacký University are establishing measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19. With the current national infection rates, the only responsible thing to do is to avoid personal contact until it is safe for everybody.
We have decided, along with the university administration and the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies, that the best way forward for everyone involved is to organize the conference online, as travel is not possible and legal restrictions would prevent us from holding the physical event. But the fact that it will be an online conference means that we will all have the possibility of being connected, safely, simultaneously and under a virtual biosemiotic roof.
This will be the first time the Gatherings in Biosemiotics will be held online, but for registered participants, it will still have a meaningful connection to Palacký University and Olomouc, as the publication of the book to commemorate the 20 years of Gatherings will still be very much a reality of the conference. Despite the current situation and its impact on all of us, the Gatherings in Biosemiotics will celebrate its 20th birthday with all of you, and we are excited to see the first virtual Gatherings in history happen under our organization.
At the same time, we are thrilled to announce that the 21st Gatherings in Biosemiotics will take place in Olomouc next year during the summer, provided travel is allowed. We hope that the online Gatherings will give you a small taste of what is waiting for us next year and hope to see you both through our screens this year and in person next year!
The organizing committee