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January 11, 2005
James F. Baur Elected President of Sigma Xi
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC- In November, the Assembly of Delegates elected physicist James F. Baur president-elect of Sigma Xi. He will begin serving as president-elect in July and succeed Lynn Margulis as president in July 2006.
Baur's experience includes college physics teaching, fusion energy research in small and large groups, management of international technical projects and 20 years of committed service to Sigma Xi.
Since 1990, he has been president of Science Solutions Inc., a technology management company concentrating on joint research and development projects with research groups of or related to the former Soviet Academy of Sciences.
While at General Atomics Company in San Diego, Baur had a range of assignments in the Fusion Division that provided insight and experience in many aspects of research.
Earlier in his career, following assignment as a staff officer in an Engineer Group supporting the U.S. Army VII Corps in Germany, he taught physics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for three and a half years, receiving the Army Commendation Medal for professional activities.
The University of Florida Chapter of Sigma Xi inducted Baur in 1962. He became active in the San Diego chapter in the early 1980s, serving as president in 1987 and again in 1997. He has also served in a variety of roles at the Society level, including chair of the International Committee.
Baur says he plans to champion a number of ideas while in office.
Among other things, he will advocate establishment of a "Sigma Xi Global Fund" with contributions from multinational corporations that do business and have an interest in fostering science in developing countries as a means to supplement--not completely absorb--the dues of members in overseas chapters.
Baur observes that holding an occasional Society annual meeting in international locales would help support international expansion.
The promotion of regional Sigma Xi consortia, an idea that has met with success in Connecticut, Southern California and Arizona, will also be high on his list.
"When three to six chapters work together in planning joint programs, it can lead to increased attendance and companionship among members," Baur says. "I advocate more chapter open house activities, especially ones that involve local industry and government laboratories."
He encourages members and officers to share ideas and speak their minds by calling or e-mailing the president, any director or relevant headquarters staff. "Sigma Xi would be the better for that effort."