No science can evolve without being in dialogue with itself and others. Semiotics as a science is a part of culture. Just as culture requires for its existence cultural life as a space of dialogue, so does the survival of at least social sciences and humanities necessitate scientific life as a space of dialogue. Within this space ethical principles are shaped, bonds between different generations of researches arise, different thinking traditions and schools dispute and communicate. The joy of communication emerges especially vividly within this less formal space.
Estonian Semiotics Association [ESA] has the mission to create such a space of dialogue which would allow the interchange of ideas between culture and science, between layperson and professional, between the young and old, between the creator and the analyst of culture. ESA seeks to advance and enrich the diverse forms of dialogue from oral conversations at seminars, conferences, meetings to written exchange of thoughts in mailing-lists and collections of articles.
To fulfil these goals ESA organizes scientific events starting from small thematic seminars and ending with big international conferences, publishes a collection of articles series Acta Semiotica Estica and manages the electronic means of distributing information [the mailing-list, webpage, webforum] concerning semiotics and semioticians in Estonia. The number of members of ESA reached 63 in the October 2011 and is steadily growing. Among the members one can find students of semiotics, researchers and professors of various disciplines and also intellectuals interested in semiotics. The activities of the association are co-ordinated by a board of five members elected for two years.
Estonian Semiotics Association is a collective member of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS-AIS) and associated member organisation of Estonian Academy of Sciences which makes it a significant bridge between the local and international semiotic community. Although the need for institutional international contacts was the primary motivation for establishing ESA in 1998, today the function of acting as a formal institutional bridge is not seen as being that prominent among other objectives the most crucial of which is to enliven the semiotic life in Estonia. We hope that the pleasure of dialogue invigorates semiotic thinking in Estonia and generates vibrant contributions to Estonian science and culture.