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Members » New Member Newsletters » April 2010

April 2010

Sigma Xi New 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 denotes their year of induction into Sigma Xi.


Follow American Scientist on Twitter, Win Prizes Follow @AmSciMag on Twitter for daily science news headlines, author interviews, book reviews, features and more. If you sign up as a follower by April 30, you'll have a chance to win a free Affiliate Membership for one year, including a free print subscription to American Scientist. For winners who are already members, the prize may be transferred to someone else as a gift.

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Get an Early Preview of Each Issue of American Scientist Our free monthly e-newsletter, American Scientist Update, provides a concise preview of the latest issue of the magazine, including abstracts of all feature articles, plus brief descriptions of columns and a list of book reviews. In odd-numbered months, the Update provides special American Scientist Online content and Sigma Xi news.

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ResearchGATE Offers International Research Networking Described as "Facebook for scientists," ResearchGATE is the leading professional social network for researchers to collaborate, share and network with more than 300,000 colleagues in 200 countries. More than 1,000 subgroups have been formed for specific disciplines, and we have established a "sub-community" especially for Sigma Xi members. The value of this network lies in its potential to encourage greater communication and research collaboration among and between Sigma Xi members in North America and around the world. ResearchGATE enables users to connect with colleagues, discover new research, share scientific methods and collaborate online. Learn more via the link above.

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Sigma Xi Center Hosts Ethics Summit June 3 Experts will convene at the Sigma Xi Center on June 3 to discuss ethical issues related to peer review and authorship. The summit will be the initial step in developing a new ethics booklet to complement Sigma Xi's highly successful Honor in Science (1984) and The Responsible Researcher: Paths and Pitfalls (1999). The booklet on peer review and authorship might also be accompanied by a workshop curriculum that would help Sigma Xi chapters stimulate discussion and distribute the booklets in a meaningful context.

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2010 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting November 11-14 in Raleigh Save the date! Food Safety & Security: Science & Policy is the theme for the 2010 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and International Research Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, November 11-14. Each November, Sigma Xi leaders and highly motivated college students gather to share ideas, information and camaraderie at the meeting.

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NAE Elects 32 Sigma Xi Members Thirty-two Sigma Xi members were among the 68 new members and nine foreign associates elected in February to the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer, honoring outstanding contributions to the field.

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Congratulations Conrad Award Winners Sigma Xi is proud to be the official Science Advisor for the Conrad Foundation's Spirit of Innovation Awards. Sigma Xi members serve as mentors and judges for this annual high school competition to design commercially viable products. Visit link above for the 2010 winners.

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World Science Festival June 2-6 in New York City The World Science Festival is an annual tribute to imagination, ingenuity and inventiveness that takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, theaters, museums and public halls of New York City, making the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating. Its mission is to cultivate and sustain a general public informed by the content of science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value and prepared to engage with its implications for the future. Visit link for more information.

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Louise Evans (SX 1952) of Beverly Hills, California, Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology, received the 2009 Corann Okorodudu International Womens' Advocacy Award from the Society of the Psychology of Women (Division 35) at the American Psychological Association's annual convention.

Anthony Blose (SX 1979) will become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Angelo State University (San Angelo, Texas) in July. He has worked as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lake Superior State University (Sault Sainte Marie, Minnesota) since 2007.

Edward Harwood (SX 1990), CEO and founder of Aero Farm Systems, LLC, received $500,000 in seed funding to value engineer and begin distribution of aeroponic systems that grow without sun and soil using a cloth media. A portion of the funding was used to create a one-of-a-kind LED array to determine plant responses to light quality that would optimize commercial production of leafy greens. Collaborators in this research include the Cornell University Department of Horticulture and RPI's Lighting Research Center.

Michelle R. Stem (SX 2008) has been named recipient of the 2010 Novo Dux Engineering Prize in recognition of her research and leadership potential. The award included a large collection of the extremely rare inorganic, organometallic and semiconductor material specimens that she needs for her materials science and engineering research. She will research these specimens for the development of multiscale optoelectronic materials and components for many applications, such as: energy and data storage, energy and data transfer, phononic and photonic guides, and photochromism. This will be highly interdisciplinary research that will provide opportunities for student researchers and faculty collaborations. Stem graduated in 2009 from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering.

Stephen J. Morewitz (SX 2000) was appointed a San Jose State University Scholar Series presenter for the Spring 2010 semester. He presented a lecture about his book, Death Threats and Violence. New Research and Clinical Perspectives (New York: Springer, 2008).

Harold Harris (SX 1970) has been named 2010 Educator of the Year by the St. Louis Academy of Sciences. He is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Division of Teaching and Learning at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Joel K. Kearns (SX 1985) was named vice president for solar research and development at MEMC Electronic Materials in St. Peters, Missouri. He was most recently Transition Manager at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. In October 2009, Kearns was awarded the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive for work at NASA.

Daryle Gardner-Bonneau (SX 1986), principal of Bonneau and Associates in Portage, Michigan, was named a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society in October, 2009. During her 30-year career as a human factors engineering specialist, she has contributed to ergonomics R&D in many domains, including aviation, telecommunications and health care. She is a recognized leader in international standards development in ergonomics and chairs the U.S. mirror group to ISO TC159 -Ergonomics. She has also been appointed to the National Academy of Sciences study committee on the "Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care" and is a co-editor and chapter author (Home Health Care) of the Handbook of Human Factors and Medical Device Design (CRC Press, 2010, in press).

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri (SX 1967) of Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lebanese American University (July 2009), celebrated his 40th Christmas Lecture (December 2009), was voted by the American Chemical Society Council as one of two candidates for ACS president-elect (March 2010) and urges all members to vote in the Fall election. Shakhashiri and John W. "Jack" Sommer (SX 1985) of Cornelius, North Carolina, continue their efforts to reactivate the Sigma Xi chapter at the American University of Beirut.

James E. Trosko (SX 1962) is on a two-month Research Leave of Absence from Michigan State University. He was recently awarded a World Class University Distinguished Visiting Professorship to do research and lecture at Seoul National University. Trosko is in the Department of Veterinary Public Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine, where he is doing human stem cell research as it relates to both cancer and aging. In addition, as a former student of global bioethics under the late Van R. Potter (the man who coined the term), he is also giving lectures on bioethics to veterinary and human medical students. His goal is to use "comparative medicine" to stimulate research to benefit both human beings and non-human animals.

Roy Weinstein (SX 1953) writes: "I have recently been surprised by the largest spate of publicity since I received the Phi Kappa Phi National Triennial Scholar Award, circa 1983. I submitted a rather basic patent application, on a new type of superconducting magnet, on February 20, 1990. The Patent and Trademark Office took some time to make a decision, but the patent was finally issued on February 23, 2010, just 20 years and three days later." The Houston Chronicle featured the story March 25 on its front page.

Life Member Carl L. Johannessen (SX 1952), professor emeritus of geography at the University of Oregon, and John L. Sorenson, professor emeritus at Brigham Young University, have recently published a monumental work detailing the biological evidence for pre-Columbian Transoceanic Diffusion between tropical civilizations. World Trade and Biological Exchanges Before 1492 is available from iUniverse in both hard and soft cover formats. "We have discovered, through exhaustive literature reviews from the last 150 years that many researchers in various fields have postulated extensive interaction between the far-flung tropical cultures of the world long before the Europeans began their ocean journeys. We have not only compiled this evidence but spent many years traveling around the world to confirm the validity and accuracy of the published work and discover further avenues of ancient tropical civilizations' interactions with one another. We are, simply put, reassessing the very way in which the Western world teaches world history."

Guy Metcalfe (SX 1991), principal research scientist in fluid mechanics at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia, has won the inaugural 10xE Chemical Engineering/Entrepreneurship Challenge sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The award was presented at the Energy Efficiency plenary by Amory Lovins, chief scientist of RMI, at the AIChE Spring Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The challenge sought radically energy efficient designs of processes, devices and materials and honored the "elegant frugality" of processing by chaotic advection embodied by Metcalfe's RAM technologies for mixing and heat exchange of viscous materials.

Richard LaRosa (SX 1944) writes: "There is a worldwide inadequacy of precipitation on mountains. Scientific literature suggests that aerosols may be contributing too many cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) so that the condensed moisture is distributed on too many CCN and the droplets or ice particles are too small to coalesce and precipitate. I have suggested on www.sealevelcontrol.com that rafts of solar-heated evaporator panels moored in coastal waters may be able to increase the humidity of air passing over mountains so that the condensation particles are larger and have an increased probability of precipitating. Evaporator construction and deployment methods are suggested on the website. If these ideas can be successfully implemented, drought relief agencies will have more water available where it is needed."

Dave Calkins (SX 2007) was interviewed for a report in March by Discovery News titled "Glaucoma Starts in the Brain." Calkins is director of research at Vanderbilt University's Eye Institute. He leads a research team that has found that glaucoma starts with an injury in the brain.

Paul L. Nunez (SX 1985), emeritus professor at Tulane University, has a new book, Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality (Oxford University Press, 2010), on the easy and hard problems of consciousness. Some view human consciousness as 1) Nothing but a byproduct of sensory, moto and memory information processing, essentially saying that the hard problem is just an illusion. 2) Something mystical that lies beyond scientific purview, implying that the hard problem is just too hard to deal with. 3) Explained by flaky ideas, pseudo quantum mechanics, or appeals to fuzzy theology. By contrast, Nunez's new book aims for a proper balance between knowledge and ignorance.

Visit Sigma Xi Members in the News for the latest news items.

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Benefit Sigma Xi by Ordering Gifts Through ProFlowers Order gifts through the ProFlowers ad on the American Scientist Web site at www.americanscientist.org and Sigma Xi will receive a royalty for each completed order. Also available are cookies, brownies and fruit baskets, but all orders must be placed by May 9. Bouquets start at $19.99 and are a great way to brighten someone's day!

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Expanded Collection of Branded Clothing 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.

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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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Automatic Annual Dues Renewal 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.

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

Editor: Charles Blackburn
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