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About Sigma Xi » News » 2009 Award Winners Announced

January 13, 2010

2010 Sigma Xi Awards Honor Leading Scientists

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Michael J. Spivey, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Merced, known for his innovative studies of language and visual perception, will receive Sigma Xi's 2010 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, the research society's highest honor.

The Procter Prize and the society's other top annual awards will be presented at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and International Research Conference next November in Raleigh, N.C.

The 2010 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award will go to Barbara Gastel at Texas A&M University. A professor of veterinary integrative biosciences and of humanities in medicine, she has devoted much of her career to improving scientific communication.

Howard R. Moskowitz, an expert on sensory psychology and its commercial application, will receive the 2010 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation. He is president and CEO of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. in White Plains, N.Y.

And Kevin R. Gurney will be honored with Sigma Xi's 2010 Young Investigator Award. He is an associate professor of earth and atmospheric science at Purdue University whose work on tracking CO2 emissions has been groundbreaking.

Proctor Prize: Michael Spivey

Michael Spivey has a long history of studying language and visual perception. He was the driving force in creating a new line of research in psycholinguistics.

He uses eye-tracking and computer mouse-tracking equipment to study how humans perceive and respond to what they hear and see. Historically, a common method of evaluating cognition has been based on how subjects respond to questions on surveys. There is only one problem with the accuracy of such responses: people have a tendency to bend the truth.

Motion-tracking software and hardware document not only the subjects' final answers but also the answers they considered along the way. The end result is a more accurate representation of how the human brain processes information. This and related work is described in his book, The Continuity of Mind (2007).

The Procter Prize has been presented annually since 1950 to an outstanding scientist or engineer who is known for effective communication of complex ideas. Past recipients include Herbert Simon, Benoit Mandelbrot, Margaret Mead, Jane Goodall, Michael DeBakey and Stephen Jay Gould. Download a high-resolution photo

McGovern Award: Barbara Gastel

Barbara Gastel is Knowledge Community Editor for AuthorAID, a major project of the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications. She co-authored the sixth edition of Robert Day's How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper and is now co-authoring the seventh edition.

These new editions speak to globalization and digitizing of publishing. Gastel wrote the Health Writer's Handbook. She is chief editor of Science Editor, the periodical of The Council of Science Editors.

She was also the principal U.S. architect of the China Medical Board of New York Program in Biomedical Writing and Editing, which was established to train editors at leading Asian medical schools and to teach scientific writing at these schools.

The McGovern Award has been presented annually since 1984. Past recipients include Sylvia Earle, David Suzuki, Condoleezza Rice and Roald Hoffmann. Download a high-resolution photo

Chubb Award: Howard Moskowitz

Howard Moskowitz created a new technology, called Mind Genomics, to better understand the way consumers think about products and about social issues.

The technology creates and links scientific based databases into a system called Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE). RDE helps companies worldwide to optimize products, messaging and graphics design. Moskowitz is the author of numerous books, such as the recent best-seller Selling Blue Elephants, which has been translated into 13 languages.

The Chubb Award is designed to honor and promote creativity among scientists and engineers. Previous recipients of the Chubb Award include Patrick Usoro, Stan Ovshinsky and Mark Holtzapple. Download a high-resolution photo

Young Investigator: Kevin Gurney

Kevin Gurney focuses his research on the global carbon cycle, understanding sinks for atmospheric CO2, how CO2 changes connect to climate change and how to connect good climate science to development of sound public policy.

He was the lead author on a 2002 paper addressing CO2 inversions that is listed in the top 1 percent of Nature papers. He received a grant from NASA to build a CO2 emissions inventory for the U.S. and led a project to create a high-resolution, interactive map of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

The maps and system, called Vulcan, show CO2 emissions at more than 100 times more detail than was available before. The model examines CO2 emissions at local levels on an hourly basis.

Gurney has also worked extensively with non-governmental organizations and with United Nations' negotiators. He is the co-author of Mending the Ozone Hole: Science, Technology and Policy (MIT Press).

The Young Investigator Award includes $5,000 and a certificate of recognition. Sigma Xi members within 10 years of their highest earned degree are eligible for this award. Download a high-resolution photo

The 2010 Sigma Xi Honorary Members will be announced at a later time. Since 1983, noted science advocates, top science journalists and friends of research who have made important contributions to science but are not eligible for Sigma Xi membership, have been elected Honorary Members.

Profiles of award winners will appear in upcoming issues of American Scientist magazine.

About Sigma Xi
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist, the non-profit Society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.

2010 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement
Michael J. Spivey is professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Merced (UCM). He taught at Cornell University from 1996-2008. His research has blazed new paths into understanding how people perceive, think and act. He was the driving force in creating a new line of research in psycholinguistics. By tracking people's eye movements in natural tasks, Spivey and his colleagues have demonstrated a strong connection between spoken language and visual perception." In cognitive science, linguistics, and psychology, his work is seen as revolutionary because it was a clear demonstration that language processing is not the byproduct of an autonomous language module, which was the longstanding view held by Noam Chomsky and his long line of followers. A few years ago he pioneered computer mouse-tracking, another new method for investigating the connection between language and motor control. He also has a knack for communicating his research in a way that anyone can understand. Spivey received an M.A. in psychology and Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has served as a visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute for for Psychological Research and is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles, book chapters and conference papers. His most recent book is The Continuity of Mind (Oxford University Press). He is associate editor of Language and Cognitive Processes and serves on a number of editorial and governing boards, as well as a reviewer for more than 25 journals. His many honors include the UCM Academic Senate Award for Distinction in Research, the Sigma Xi Distinguished Scientist Award, the Sproull Fellows Award for Scholarly Excellence from the University of Rochester and two Merrill Presidential Scholar's Outstanding Educator awards from Cornell University. He is a member of Sigma Xi.

2010 John P. McGovern Science & Society Award
Barbara Gastel, a physician specializing in biomedical writing and editing, is professor of integrative biosciences and of humanities in medicine at Texas A&M University, where she coordinates the master's degree program in science and technology journalism. She earned a B.A. from Yale and an M.D. and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins. After medical school, she did an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) mass media fellowship at Newsweek. She then worked in communication and administration at the National Institutes of Health. She also has taught science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent two years as visiting professor of technical communication at Beijing Medical University (now Peking University Health Science Center). Before coming to Texas A&M University in 1989, she was assistant dean for teaching at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Gastel is the author of three books: Presenting Science to the Public, Teaching Science: A Guide for College and Professional School Instructors and Health Writer's Handbook. In addition, she co-authored the sixth edition of Robert Day's How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper and is co-authoring the seventh edition. She also has written many articles and chapters on writing, editing, teaching and medical topics. From 1996 through 2007, Gastel directed the U.S. aspect of a program, funded by the China Medical Board of New York, to teach English-language biomedical writing and editing in Asia. Since 2007, she has been Knowledge Community Editor for AuthorAID at INASP (www.authoraid.info), a program to help researchers in developing countries to write about and publish their work. Gastel is editor of Science Editor, the periodical of the Council of Science Editors. She also is active in the American Medical Writers Association. She has received distinguished service awards from these two organizations, and she is a fellow of the AAAS. In 1996, she was recognized by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences as an Honored Editor. She is only one of four editors to be so honored in the nearly 20 years of the organization's existence.

2010 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation
Howard R. Moskowitz is president of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., a firm he founded in 1981. He is both a well-known experimental psychologist in the field of psychophysics and an inventor of world-class market research technology. He graduated from Harvard University and from Queens College (New York), Phi Beta Kappa, with degrees in mathematics and psychology. He has written/edited 20 books, has published well over 400 articles, chapters and conference papers and serves on the editorial board of major journals. He also founded journal Chemical Senses. His extensive speaking engagements span both scientific and market research conferences, as well as guest lectures at leading business schools and food science schools. His latest book, with co-author Alex Gofman, called Selling Blue Elephants, demonstrates and popularizes how IdeaMap (i-Novation`s flagship product) creates new products and messages from areas as diverse as credit cards, jewelry offers, presidential messaging during election years, stock market communications, and trans-national innovation. His forthcoming book, You! What You MUST Know to Start Your Life as a Professional, describes the formative years of a research professional's development. Moskowitz has won numerous awards, among them the Scientific Director's Gold Medal for outstanding research at the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories, and the 2001 and 2003 awards by the European Society Of Market Research for his innovation in Web-enabled, self-authored conjoint measurement, and for weak signals research in new trends analysis and concept development. The self-authored concept technology has brought concept/package design development and innovation into the realm of the researcher, significantly reducing cost, time and effort for new product and service development. In 2004, Moskowitz was elected as an IFT Fellow, and also was awarded the David R. Peryam Award, from ASTM, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of basic and applied sensory science. In 2005, Moskowitz was awarded the Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award for his substantial contributions and dedication to the advancement of marketing research practices. He is the recipient of the ARF Research Innovation Award and The Market Research Council Hall of Fame Award. From November 2004 to November 2006, Moskowitz appeared weekly on ABC News Now as the Food Doctor. His segment highlighted the most innovative and interesting aspects of the food industry. He was inducted into Sigma Xi in 1968 at Harvard University.

2010 Young Investigator Award
Kevin Gurney is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science and associate director of the Climate Change Research Center at Purdue University. His work focuses on the global carbon cycle, understanding sinks for atmospheric CO2, how CO2 changes connect to climate change, and how to connect good climate science to development of sound public policy. He was the lead author on a 2002 publication in Nature addressing CO2 inversions. It is listed in the top 1 percent of Nature papers. He received a grant from NASA to build a CO2 emissions inventory for the U.S. and led a project to create a high-resolution, interactive map of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. The maps and system, called Vulcan, show CO2 emissions at more than 100 times more detail than was available before. The model examines CO2 emissions at local levels on an hourly basis. He has worked extensively with NGOs and with UN negotiators. Gurney received B.A. and M.P.P. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a Ph.D. in ecology from Colorado State University. A member of Sigma Xi, he also belongs to the American Geophysical Union, Phi Kappa Phi and the Ecological Society of America. He is the co-author of Mending the Ozone Hole: Science, Technology and Policy (MIT Press).

 

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