The Biological Bulletin began publishing symposia (from the Greek symposium, meaning "to drink together," or, in our sense, "to think together"), which were held at the MBL in the late 20th Century. At first, only Abstracts were published, but by 1996 the journal began publishing entire research and review articles.
In 1997, the concept grew to include papers from a "virtual" meeting: that is, a meeting that would be taking place virtually within the pages of The Biological Bulletin. Each type of presentation at this "meeting" becomes a review paper, a research report, or a rapid communication, all of which, together, support the goal of creating a clear picture of the latest findings in a discipline.
The choice of topic is suggested by either the Editor-in-Chief, or by members of the Editorial Board. Each symposium has a handling editor or editors, either from the Editorial Board or by a guest editor who is an expert in the field. The editors invite participants to submit papers; all are rigorously reviewed.
The future of aquatic research in space 192: 111-201 (February 1997)
The cytoskeleton 194:317-418 (June 1998)
Genetic regulatory networks in embryogenesis and evolution 195: 357-386 (December 1998)
Evolution: a molecular point of view 196: 303-420 (June 1999)
Chemical communication and ecology 198: 167-253 (April 2000)
Invertebrate sensory information processing: implications for biologically inspired autonomous
systems 200: 147-245 (April 2001)
The limits to self organization in biological systems 202: 245-320 (June 2002)
Outcomes of genome-genome interactions 204: 155-235 (April 2003)
Marine Invertebrate Models of Learning and Memory 210 no. 3 (June 2006)
Donna L. McPhie and Mark. W. Miller
Neuroecology of Chemical Defense 213 no. 3 (December 2007)
Richard K. Zimmer and Charles D. Derby
Genomics of Large Marine Metazoans 214 no. 3 (June 2008)
R. Andrew Cameron and Jonathan P. Rast, eds.
Biology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae 216 no. 3 (June 2009)
Richard B. Emlet, Svetlana A. Maslakova, Alan L. Shanks, and Craig M. Young, eds.
Models and Mechanisms of Regenerative Biology Across Phylogeny 221 no. 1 (August 2011)
James L. Olds, Joel Smith, and Manabu Sakakibara, eds.
Discoveries in Animal Symbiosis in the "omics" Age 223 no. 1 (August 2012)
Margaret McFall-Ngai, Virginia Weis, and Ute Hentschel, eds.
Cell Biology of Gametes and Embryos: Insights from Marine Invertebrates 224:3 (August 2013)
Dominic Poccia, ed.
Calcification in a Changing Ocean (June 2014)
Maria Byrne and Gretchen Hofmann, eds.
Discovering Diversity with High-Throughput Approaches (October 2014)
Ken Halanych and Andy Mahon, eds.
New Insights into Aquaporin Evolution and Physiology in Eukaryotic Organisms (August 2015)
Joan Cerda, ed.
Cellular Imaging in the Biological Sciences (August 2016)
Donna McPhie and Lisa Cameron, eds.