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Members » Member Newsletters » October 2011

October 2011

Sigma Xi Emeritus & Life Member Newsletter

We always welcome your news and contributions. Please send any comments or suggestions to development@sigmaxi.org.

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


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NEW Online Voting for Sigma Xi Leadership
NEW Online Voting for Society Leadership Online voting for Society leaders will begin on November 14, 2011 following the Annual Meeting. Voting will take place online for President-elect (term begins July 1, 2012), Treasurer (completion of unexpired term of Frank Gilmore; term begins at the conclusion of the voting period and the results are verified), Directors (terms begin July 1, 2012), Associate Directors (terms begin July 1, 2012) and Nomination Committee members (terms begin at the conclusion of the voting period). The electronic polls will remain open for 30 days and members must cast their ballot by December 13, 2011. All active members of Sigma Xi will receive instructions on how to cast their vote for the open elected positions. Results of the elections will be announced on the Society's website and in other membership communications.

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Team Science: A Sigma Xi White Paper
In a Sigma Xi White Paper called "Team Science—Heaving Walls and Melding Silos" authors LYNN E. ELFNER (SX 1972), HOLLY J. FALK- KRZESINSKI, KELLY O. SULLIVAN (SX 1992), ANDREW VELKEY (SX 1999), DEBORAH L. ILLMAN, JERRY BAKER (SX 1990) and ANTONIO PITA-SZCZENIEWSKI (SX 1964) contend that most of the work still to be done in science and the useful arts is precisely that which needs knowledge and cooperation of many scientists and disciplines.

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2011 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting in Raleigh
The 2011 Annual Meeting and International Research Conference November 10-13 in Raleigh, North Carolina, will bring together students, professional scientists and Sigma Xi members from North America and abroad for presentations in all fields of science and engineering, a science session on ethics, lectures by award-winning speakers and more.

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Sigma Xi Celebrates 125th Anniversary
Sigma Xi marks our 125th year of service in 2011 as the honor society of research scientists and engineers. To highlight this milestone, we celebrate our fresh faces (http://sigmaxi.org/about/125th/freshfaces.shtml) and distinguished members (http://sigmaxi.org/about/125th/distinguishedmembers.shtml) and reflections from members (http://sigmaxi.org/about/125th/2011interviews.shtml). Follow the Sigma Xi Timeline from 1886 until today. Annual Meeting delegates will also be treated to a reception and BBQ dinner and a tour at the Sigma Xi Center.

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Special Annual Meeting Sessions to Address Ethics
We explore scientific integrity from several angles in a series of special sessions, titled "The Responsible Researcher: Conscience and Collaboration," November 11-12 at our 2011 Annual Meeting and International Research Conference in Raleigh, N.C. For a list of speakers and topics: http://sigmaxi.org/about/news/2011EthicsAMIRC.shtml

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Stay Current with SCIENCE IN THE NEWS
Don't have time to scan more than 30 media outlets for the latest science news? Let Sigma Xi do it for you. SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY and WEEKLY, delivered free directly to your e-mail address, are concise news roundups that will keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in the fast-paced world of science and technology.

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Sigma Xi Sponsors USA Science and Engineering Festival
The Nation's largest celebration of science and engineering, the USA Science & Engineering Festival, is returning to Washington, D.C., April 28-29, 2012. Sigma Xi is among the official sponsors of the event. ADAM SAVAGE (SX 2009) and JAMIE HYNEMAN (SX 2009), hosts of the Discovery Channel's hit TV series MythBusters, and Bill Nye the Science Guy are among the science superstars signed up to join the Festival Expo. The 2012 Festival will include a new book fair and career pavilion as part of the Finale Expo. The USA Science & Engineering Festival, hosted by Lockheed Martin, is focused on encouraging the next generation of engineers, scientists, and technologists, and to increase public awareness of the importance of science and math education.

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Annual Science Parade, Fair and Festivals Held in Harlem
The Harlem Children Society, in association with the Association of Science and Society, and the Rockefeller University Chapter of Sigma Xi organized the Annual Science Parade and Fair & Festivals in Harlem earlier this month. The events attracted hundreds of community participants from all New York City boroughs, Long Island and tri-state area. Conceived and implemented by SAT BHATTACHARYA (SX 1999), a molecular geneticist, over eight successive years, these innovative events are designed to bring science and society to the masses in novel and fun ways, also featuring a variety of entertainment, making science education and awareness accessible to everyone, regardless of background. The event showcases hands-on research in leading labs and institutions done by hundreds of high school and undergraduate students.

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New Fellowship Program Aims to Support Young Researchers
A new funding program in Sweden aims to help young scientists from around the world bridge the gap between their postdoctoral years and their first academic position. The Wallenberg Academy Fellows program, announced by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (http://www.wallenberg.com/kaw/in_english) in Stockholm, will give generous start-up funds and access to positions in Swedish universities to 125 grantees over the next 5 years. The program will offer 25 awardees a year up to SEK 7.5 million (about $820,000) over five years, with no strings attached. Researchers from any nation or discipline are eligible, as long as they received their Ph.D. between four and seven years before applying. Interested candidates should get in touch with a Swedish university, Sandberg said. Five Swedish academies, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, will select the finalists, but the foundation will have the final say.

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Spirit of Innovation Challenge
Student teams are invited to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to develop innovative products addressing real-world issues in this year's three challenge categories: Aerospace Exploration, Clean Energy, and Health and Nutrition. Full members of Sigma Xi are invited to serve as online mentors and team coaches. Visit newurl.sigmaxi.org for more details on how you can participate.

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University of Minnesota Symposium Draws 250
Over 250 University of Minnesota undergraduate students participated in this year's Undergraduate Symposium held in April on campus. Each student worked with faculty/research mentors on research projects and presented posters that described their research, its impact and value. “As UM strives to be one of the top three public research universities in the world this is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate some of our cutting-edge discovery and research,” said MARVIN MARSHAK, professor and director of undergraduate research at the University. As one of the sponsors, the University of Minnesota Sigma Xi Chapter awarded prizes for posters that excelled in presenting research in ways that were clearly understandable to non-experts.

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Francisco J. Ayala Gives $10 Million to UCI Acclaimed geneticist
FRANCISCO J. AYALA (SX 1964), widely known for his work straddling the divide between religion and evolution, will donate $10 million to the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. The gift, the largest ever by a UCI faculty member, will be funded with profits from flourishing vineyards Ayala bought decades ago. “When you can do good things, you should do them,” said the University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, who came to UCI nearly a quarter of a century ago.

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Sigma Xi Member News

Life Member ALLEN W. HATHEWAY (SX 1967), retired geological engineering professor at the University of Missouri, has published a 1,400 page handbook on "Remediation of Former Manufactured Gas Plants and Other Coal-Tar Sites" (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press). The book is meant to provide a comprehensive historical, technical and good-science review for planning and conduct of coal-tar cleanup actions meant to be protective of human health and the environment; based on a worldwide coverage. http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9780824791063;jsessionid=IBW237l3Gqb7+9WPSIMUCg**

ALBERT A. BARTLETT (SX 1950) presented an invited paper on sustainability at the 2011 annual summer meeting of the American Association of Physics teachers in Omaha, Nebraska.

"From Midway Church to Nuclear Fusion," a historical chronicle and scientific memoir by WESTON M. STACEY (SX 1967), tells of the history of the Stacey family in America, the author's idyllic boyhood in the cultural backwater of small Southern towns and his serendipitous rise to prominence as an acclaimed researcher and professor in applied nuclear physics.

JIE XU (SX 2008), assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Washington State University, Vancouver, recently received a DARPA Young Faculty Award to assist in his research into hearing loss. Xu won the award through his research into micro fluidics, a technology dealing with the precise control and manipulation of fluids and objects.

The Southeastern Universities Research Association will present NEAL F. LANE (SX 1964), former director of the National Science Foundation and former chief White House science advisor, the association's 2011 Distinguished Friend of Science Award in November. The award honors an individual whose extraordinary efforts "fulfill the SURA mission of strengthening the scientific and technical capabilities of the Southeast and nation." http://www.sura.org/news/2011/NLaneAward.pdf

PATRICIA LANGENDORF (SX 1959) of Rome, New York, writes: I just got congratulated on being a member of Sigma Xi for 50 years! I was more than a little startled to be nominated for membership in this scientific honor society back when I got my degree in statistics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. I’ve always valued it. And I think it is getting more valuable. Nowadays they provide a regular e-mail listing of interesting scientific developments (Science in the News). And a weekly update (Science in the News Weekly) of which scientific articles have attracted the most attention in the preceding week. They also take a strong quiet lead in maintaining scientific quality. I’m proud to be associated with them.

ADAM GUY RIESS (SX 1992) shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with two fellow astronomers for discovering that the universe is apparently being blown apart by a mysterious force that cosmologists now call dark energy, a finding that has thrown the fate of the universe and indeed the nature of physics into doubt. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/science/space/05nobel.html?ref=adamriess

The CDC Chapter of Sigma Xi presented its 2011 Walter R. Dowdle Award to PAUL ROTA (SX 1989) for his many outstanding achievements. Rota was recognized for applying outstanding laboratory science to public health problems in the global measles elimination initiative and for contributing to our understanding of paramyxoviruses and other viral infections and the diseases they cause.

Sigma Xi honored three members of UC Irvine’s School of Biological Sciences for scholarly accomplishment. MATTHEW J. KORN (SX 2005) was granted Sigma Xi’s Fresh Faces award, while FRANCISCO J. AYALA (SX 1964) and MARLELE DE LA CRUZ (SX 2004) were recognized as Distinguished Members. Korn, a graduate student, was selected for his work dealing with neuron-glia interactions. Cruz was celebrated for her achievements as associate director of biological sciences outreach, research training and minority science programs. Ayala, a University and Donald Bren Professor, has merited several awards for his successes in the scientific field, including the 2010 Templeton Prize, the 2000 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement and the 2001 National Medal of Science.

STEVEN L. BERK (SX 1988) announces the release of his memoir of a harrowing ordeal, ANATOMY OF A KIDNAPPING, A DOCTOR'S STORY (288 pages, Texas Tech University Press). On Sunday, March 6, 2005, Berk was in the midst of his typical routine when a dangerous and enigmatic criminal, armed with a shotgun, entered his home through an open garage door. On that beautiful spring day in Amarillo, Texas, Berk was kidnapped. http://anatomyofakidnapping.com/

At the Annual Banquet of the University of Minnesota Sigma Xi Chapter in May, Life Member KAREN BALLEN (SX 1998) was awarded the chapter’s Science Communication and Education Award for her numerous efforts to make science more understandable to broader audiences – from the public to school children to university undergraduates.

University of Minnesota junior JASMINE ERICKSON (SX 2011), a nutrition major in the Didactic Program in Dietetics, was awarded the prestigious Charles and Dorothy Andrew Bird Award for her scholarly work in clinical dietetics as she pursues her career goal to become a registered dietician. “Performing research in the field of biochemistry is both challenging and rewarding,” Erickson noted. “It is not just the research itself that I will utilize in my future studies in the field of nutrition. It is the problem-solving skills and strategies I have developed from my three years working in Larry Wackett's lab.” In addition to an award certificate, Erickson received a $1,000 cash award and a one-year membership in the University of Minnesota Sigma Xi Chapter.

For more member news, visit: http://www.sigmaxi.org/about/news/mitn.shtml

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Sigma Xi Affinity Programs
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.

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Editor: Charles Blackburn
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Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
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