About Sigma Xi Programs Meetings Member Services Chapters Giving Affiliates Resources American Scientist

   Archived Newsletters

   Informational Papers

Members » Member Newsletters » Emeritus Newsletters » December 2009

May 2009

Sigma Xi Emeritus Member Newsletter

Emeritus Member eBlast is a monthly e-newsletter. We always welcome your contributions.

N.B.: Dates in parenthesis after Members' names denotes their year of induction into Sigma Xi.


Help make the American Scientist Web site better. Help us plan enhancements to the site by taking a few minutes to complete an online survey. Plus, you can enter a drawing for a $75 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble once you have completed the survey. We thank you in advance for your time and your input. Visit: http://www.readersurvey.com/as9014/survey.htm

Back to top

American Scientist Pizza Lunch Talks Now Available Online
Several of the talks from the American Scientist magazine's Pizza Lunch speaker series are now available online as podcasts. The series features compelling talks by scientists to science journalists and science communicators at the Sigma Xi Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The goal of these informal talks is to expand scientific understanding among people professionally engaged in explaining science to others. The first podcast is of a talk titled "Everything Is Dangerous: A Controversy" by S. Stanley Young, director of bioinformatics at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences. The 2009-2010 season of the American Scientist Pizza Lunch series is sponsored by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. To access the podcasts, visit: http://www.americanscientist.org/science/page/pizza-lunch-podcasts

Back to top

Engineering Professor Honored with 2009 Monie Ferst Award
PETAR V. KOKOTOVIC, a professor emeritus of engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will receive the 2009 Monie Ferst Award from the Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter of Sigma Xi. Since 1977, this national award has honored science and engineering teachers who have inspired their students to significant achievements. It is presented during a day-long symposium focusing on the accomplishments of the winner's former students. For more about this year's winner, visit: http://www.sigmaxi.org/programs/prizes/ferst.kokotovic.shtml

Back to top

MICHAEL P. CROSBY (1989) was elected the 74th president of Sigma Xi at the Society's 2009 Annual Meeting in The Woodlands, Texas, November 12-15. He will begin his three-year service in FY 2011 as president-elect. Also at the meeting, elections were held for Society treasurer and directors. For details, visit: http://sigmaxi.org/about/news/2009Elections.shtml

Back to top

Biochemist BRANDT F. EICHMAN (2008) at Vanderbilt University is recognized as a leader in research into the structural biology of cellular mechanisms that maintain DNA fidelity. He has been selected to receive Sigma Xi's 2009 Young Investigator Award. For more about his work, visit: http://sigmaxi.org/about/news/2009YIA.shtml

Back to top

Sigma Xi lost one of our very distinguished members earlier this month when Nobel laureate NORMAN E. BORLAUG (1942) died at the age of 95. The internationally acclaimed agronomist at Texas A&M University was the recipient of Sigma Xi's 2003 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, among many other honors. The Nordic Chapter posted several links about him, available here:http://sigmaxinordic.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/norman-ernest-borlaug-1914%25e2%2580%25932009/

Back to top

A special Energy Symposium was a highlight of Sigma Xi's 2009 Annual Meeting and International Research Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Plenary speakers were invited to address science and public policy concerns regarding the critical issue of energy. The symposium culminates a year-long focus on the scientific, environmental and public policy aspects of energy as a continuation of Sigma Xi's Critical Issues in Science series. Activities during the year have included white papers, a blog and podcasts, special Science Cafes and a student short film competition. For more information, visit: http://www.sigmaxi.org/meetings/annual/index.shtml

Back to top

Sigma Xi invited members and the public to submit white papers presenting solutions to some aspect of the energy crisis. Ten papers are now posted online (along with a variety of other resources and blog entries). There, you can read, rate, download and discuss the papers. Please note that we have made some upgrades to the energy site! If you had difficulty registering on the site before, this problem is now solved. For more, visit: http://energy.sigmaxi.org/?cat=9.

Back to top

Sigma Xi has become the official science advisor for the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards, a nationwide competition for high school students. The 2009-2010 competition will focus on projects in aerospace, nutrition, renewable energy and green buildings. Sigma Xi volunteers are needed to provide scientific mentorship to teams and to serve as judges for both the online and finalist stages. Phase one competition judges review and score concept proposals for up to five teams each online during the months of December and January, providing approximately 10 hours of invaluable volunteer scientific expertise to the competition. For more information, visit: http://www.conradawards.org and click on Judges or Advisors.

Back to top

For the most up-to-date wealth preservation and philanthropic planning information and news, go to http://sigmaxi.giftlegacy.com and click on "Finance News."

Back to top

WILLIAM M. MANGER (1956) and the National Hypertension Association in New York, of which he is chairman, have received the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Humanitarian Award for their efforts to prevent and combat the obesity crisis in our nation. He reports that the VITAL (Values Initiative Teaching About Lifestyle) program, which teaches healthy eating and appropriate physical activity to schoolchildren (kindergarten through grade 2), has been enormously successful in improving lifestyle and preventing excess weight gain. "We have implemented the program in elementary schools in 11 states and Washington, D.C.," he says. "Obesity is one of our most serious health problems. Its complications (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, abnormal blood cholesterol and many cancers) cause 300,000 American deaths each year and cost the nation $147 billion!"

PAUL W. BOSLAND (1986) at New Mexico State University recently received the 2009 New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award. He is a world expert on chili genetics, breeding and evaluation, leading that research at NMSU. He has also headed a program that provides first-generation children of migrant farm workers the opportunity to experience agricultural research.

NATARAJAN KRISHNAMURTHY (1969) reports from Singapore that he has been invited to run a one-day workshop "Risk Management for Movers and Shakers" on Sunday, December 6, 2009 at the annual meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis in Baltimore, Maryland. He will also be presenting a paper with a new proposal for risk assessment at the same meeting, on the 9th. Details of the workshop and paper may be found at: http://www.profkrishna.com/ProfK-Assets/SRA-Dec2009.htm He requests that this information be forwarded to academics and professionals who may be interested in the workshop. He will be giving a copy of his book: "Introduction to Risk Management" as part of course material. For further details, he may be contacted at: safety@profkrishna.com

VIRGINIA STEEN-MCINTYRE (1964) reports that a new umbrella Web site called The Pleistocene Coalition was launched in late September that brings together scientists and researchers whose data seriously question the ruling dogma, "Cave Man Dumb: Modern Man Smart." Homo erectus, at least, just may be in for a major image change! Visit the site at http://pleistocenecoalition.com/

ANTHONY DEBONS (1953), professor emeritus in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of a new text titled "Information Science 101," designed to alert high school students and college freshman of the broad scope of Information science--its subjects and career possibilities. "Information Science's broad perspective is written to provide a frame of reference to students who are shaping their career interests," he says. The book is published by Scarecrow Press (2008).

WALTER R. MAY (1961) of SFA International, Inc. in Houston, Texas, published a book in 2008 called "U.S. Energy Independence - A Plan for Energy Independence by 2020." It is available at Barnes & Noble and other bookstores, as well as on his company Web site. "The energy situation in the U.S. is critical and becoming more so with every passing day," he says. For more information, visit: http://www.SFAInternational.com

JOEL S. MILLER (1979) was honored with the prestigious 2009 Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition award by the Academy of General Dentistry recognizing his commitment to lifelong learning, volunteer services to the communities in need, mentorship to associates and new dentists and participation in organized dentistry.

ALEXANDER LOWY (1931) was a distinguished author, educator, inventor and University Professor. His life (1889-1941), along with his many accomplishments in the field of science (especially organic chemistry), are now being acknowledged by his family and also by the University of Pittsburgh. Visit http://www.alexanderlowy.com to learn more about his contributions and how they made a difference.

EUGENIE CAROL SCOTT (2003) has received the California Academy of Sciences' highest honor, the Fellows Medal. The medal recognizes Dr. Scott's "...many important contributions to science, education and evolution, and for her tireless efforts to safeguard scientific integrity in public life."

JOHN E. WARNOCK (1964) was won the 2008 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation's highest honor for technological and scientific achievement, for pioneering contributions that spurred the desktop publishing revolution.

MICHELE G. WHEATLY (1985) has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at West Virginia University.

JOHN W. PRADOS (1956), vice president and University Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee, received the Benjamin Garver Lamme Award at the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition. He was honored for 50 years of combined service to the University of Tennessee as well as professional and governmental organizations. Prados has served Sigma Xi for many years in a variety of capacities at the local and national levels, including multiple terms as Society treasurer.

CHRISTOPHER COLENDA (2005), dean of medicine at Texas A&M University, will become West Virginia University's new chancellor for health sciences.

ROBERT C. TITUS (1971), professor of geology at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, has begun a weekly column about the geology of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains in four newspapers of the Hudson-Catskill Newspaper Chain. His column "Windows Through Time" focuses on the geological history of the region. An archive of his columns is available at: http://www.registerstar.com/columnists/windows_through_time/

ANA BARAHONA (1995), a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, is the new president of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology for 2009-2011.

Life member A. FRED SPILHAUS (1961), recently retired executive director of the American Geophysical Union and only one of eight Council of Scientific Society Executives (CESSE) Leadership Award recipients, was honored in Orlando at the CESSE annual meeting in July with the renaming of the coveted award to the A. Fred Spilhaus Leadership Award.

FRANK R. TANGHERLINI (1956) reports that his 1958 Stanford Ph.D. thesis, "The Velocity of Light in Uniformly Moving Frames," (Prof. Sidney D. Drell, thesis advisor) is now available on the Internet courtesy of The Abraham Zelmanov Journal. See: http://Zelmanov.ptep-online.com/issues.html. The thesis will appear later this year in Volume 2 of the journal. He says this came about due to interest in the thesis expressed several years ago by Dr. Gregory B. Malykin, of the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Nizhni Novgorod. "The thesis is preceded by a 2009 preface by me that indicates how it came to be written, going back to some ideas I developed when I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago in the early 1950s, before completing my graduate work in the late 1950s at Stanford," Tangherlini says. It is followed by a brief article explaining in further detail one of the chapters of the thesis that deals with Maxwell's equations. There is also a lengthy article by Dr. Malykin and his son Edward G. Malykin (an assistant prof. of mathematics) commenting on the significance of the thesis, and its relation to other contributions to the subject of a similar nature, which is accompanied by numerous references to the literature.

WILBUR E. GOLL (1953) of Shawnee, Kansas, recalls that at the time of his induction into Sigma Xi he was working with a group of colleagues on a classified project involving the development of "flash suppressors" for a number of military weapons. Several patents were eventually granted involving Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.

TZU-YANG YU (2007) writes: "After graduating from MIT in June 2008, I joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in September 2008. I have a book entitled "Damage Detection of GFRP-concrete Systems Using Electromagnetic Waves" recently published by Lambert Academic Publishing, Koln, Germany. I am working on a research project sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), regarding the dielectric properties of cementitious composites."

YU TONG JADE MORTON, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Miami University, was named 2009 Researcher of the Year by the Miami University-Ohio Chapter of Sigma Xi. His award lecture was on "The Global Positioning System: Past, Present and Future."

For more news items about Sigma Xi members, visit: http://www.sigmaxi.org/about/news/mitn.shtml

Back to top

AMERICAN SCIENTIST GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS The holidays are fast approaching. Do you have a gift for your colleague, professor, family member or science-minded friend? American Scientist magazine is the gift that keeps giving all year long. For a special member price, visit our Web site at https://ecom.sigmaxi.org/amsci.php and click on Sigma Xi Member.

Back to top


Don't miss our expanded collection of Sigma Xi and American Scientist clothing. Look for the new American Scientist logo on embroidered polo shirts, a variety of T-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps. Men's, women's and children's sizes are available. For details: http://nonprofitwebstores.com/shop?c=49248

Back to top


Your Society offers a number of affinity programs that include stimulating opportunities for travel and reduced rates on auto insurance and car rentals, among other benefits. For more information, visit: http://www.sigmaxi.org/member/membersonly/index.shtml

Back to top


Many Sigma Xi members are opting for the convenience of automatic membership renewal. You can now have your annual dues paid automatically every year via credit card or bank draft. An e-mail notification of the dues deduction will be sent to you after your credit card or bank account has been charged. For more information, visit: http://www.sigmaxi.org/member/dues/autopay.shtml

Back to top


Let us hear from you! We always welcome your contributions to our eBlasts. development@sigmaxi.org

Interim Editor: Charles Blackburn
919-547-5212, or 800-243-6534, ext. 212
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
PO Box 13975
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

P.S. If you have let your membership lapse, you can now reactive it online. For more information, click here.

P.P.S. If you don't wish to receive this eBlast from Sigma Xi, please e-mail us back and let us know.


Back to top | Privacy Policy | Copyright ©2013. All Rights Reserved.