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November 12, 2004

Dennis Overbye Inducted as Honorary Sigma Xi Member

MONTREAL -- New York Times science writer Dennis Overbye was inducted as an honorary life member of Sigma Xi at the Society’s annual meeting here.

Since 1983, distinguished individuals not otherwise eligible for membership in Sigma Xi, who have served science, or the Society, in a manner or to a degree that merits such recognition, have been elected honorary life members by the Board of Directors.

After studying physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a stint, he says, that "was notable mainly for my adventures steering the heavyweight crew," and a year in graduate school at the University of California at Los Angeles studying astronomy, Overbye went back to Cambridge to pursue a writing career, which had always been his first love.

He moved to New York in 1980 when Time Inc. started Discover magazine, where he was a staff writer and editor. He has also been a writer and editor for Sky and Telescope.

In 1985, he signed a book contract and moved to Woodstock, where he stayed for 13 years, and finished two books, Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos and Einstein in Love. He joined The New York Times as deputy science editor in 1998, but is now a reporter covering cosmic affairs.

Overbye’s writings have appeared in Time, The New York Times Magazine and many other publications. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos was nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award in nonfiction and a Los Angeles Times Book Award in Science and won the 1992 American Institute of Physics (AIP) Science Writing Award.

He also won the AIP Science Writing Award in 1980 for an Omni Magazine article called "The Wizard of Time and Space." Overbye lives in Manhattan with his wife, the writer Nancy Wartik, and their daughter Mira.


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