SIBE, Società Italiana di Biologia Evoluzionistica - ISEB, Italian Society for Evolutionary Biology

ISEB History

The Italian Society for Evolutionary Biology (ISEB) aims to strenghten scientific relationships between Italian evolutionary biologists active worldwide, and to promote, at every level, knowledge dissemination of biological evolution. This latter point is crucial in this historical moment, because in our country, as well as in the United States, we are witnessing attempts to discredit, with flimsy arguments, the validity of Evolution. ISEB is open not only to professionals of Evolutionary Biology, but pays particular attention to schools, in which the teaching of Evolution has been greatly reduced in textbooks and programs.

For long time, Italian people interested in Evolution have met, every two years, at informal meetings, held in different Italian locations. During one of these meetings, it became evident we needed to transform this spontaneous group into a more formal institution. This meeting was therefore the first Congress of Italian Evolutionary Biologists, which gathered almost two hundred Italian scientists at the University of Ferrara, from 24 to 26 August 2005. At the end of the meeting, a constituent assembly founded a new scientific society, the ISEB, Italian Society for Evolutionary Biology.

The constituent assembly approved the Society statute, and elected a board to be in charge for one year. The Society was legally constituted the 15th of September 2005 in front of a Notary and drafted its regulations for subscription. The assembly of members, in 2006, elected a new Board (that remains, from now on, in charge for two years). The first conference confirmed that several evolutionary disciplines are of excellence in Italy, despite the cronicle lack of investments that, among the others, is the main reason for the continuous brain drain of Italian scientist to wealthier and better organized foreign institutions.

In 2006, ISEB translated and distrbuted a document titled 'Evolution, Science and Society' drafted by the principal American scientific societies. In 2007, ISEB has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with ANMS (the National Association of Scientific Museums) and Pikaia (a popular Italian web portal on Evolution) for the dissemination of Evolutionary Biology.

In 2011, some ISEB members joined to wrote the first Italian textbook on Evolutionary Biology: 'Evoluzione. Modelli e Processi', curated by Marco Ferraguti and Carla Castellacci.

ISEB regularly organizes seminars, conferences and workshops (also divulgative) in many Italian cities (f.i, Darwin Days, days with schools, etc.). ISEB is also part of FISV, the Italian Federation of Life Sciences, and regularly participates to its congresses.