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Members » Member Newsletters » September 2010

September 2010

Sigma Xi New Member Newsletter

Hope you had an enjoyable summer. We are delighted to be back. Our apologies for this extra long e-newsletter, but we have a lot of information to share after a three-month hiatus. 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.


Annual Meeting Symposium: Food Safety and Security
Join more than 20 prominent experts from academia, industry and government November 11-13 in Raleigh, North Carolina, for a symposium on Food Safety and Security: Science and Policy during Sigma Xi's Annual Meeting. September 24 is the deadline for poster abstracts. Registration and details about abstract submission and presentation guidelines are available online.

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Call for Concept and White Papers on Food Security
Sigma Xi is co-sponsoring with PHS Group, Inc. a call for white papers on food security and sustainability. The author(s) of the most compelling paper will be offered the opportunity to be paid consultants in a pilot program addressing food security in Hispaniola and the Caribbean Basin Countries. As part of its sponsorship of this Sigma Xi symposium, PHS Group, Inc. is also promoting a competition for student concept papers that present creative ideas addressing food security in Haiti. The authors of the top three papers will receive monetary prizes. October 15 is the deadline. Guidelines for white papers. Guidelines for student concept papers.

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Student Research Conference November 12-13
Sigma Xi members will act as judges for a poster competition at the 2010 Student Research Conference during the Society's 2010 Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference will showcase student research in all fields of science and engineering. Plus networking, panel discussions, social events and more. Registration information and poster guidelines are available online.

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Sigma Xi Hosts Ethics Summit on Authorship Issues
A group of advisors met at the Sigma Xi Center on June 3 to discuss ethical issues related to peer review and authorship. The Ethics Summit was the initial step in developing a proposed new ethics booklet to complement Sigma Xi's Honor in Science and The Responsible Researcher: Paths and Pitfalls.

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Sigma Xi Partners with ResearchGATE
To provide a major new networking opportunity for our members, we've partnered with the leading professional online network for scientists and engineers. ResearchGATE is free of charge and designed to meet researchers' needs. It is used by more than 400,000 researchers in 200 countries.

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Sigma Xi Awards Nomination Deadline: October 15
Sigma Xi's prestigious annual awards recognize excellence in research and communication. They include: William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, Walston Chubb Award for Innovation, Young Investigator Award, Evan Ferguson Award for Service to the Society and Honorary Membership.

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Did Science Fiction Influence You?
That's the question we asked Sigma Xi members. A sampling of responses is included in our latest informational paper. Many members, representing almost every research discipline, shared titles and authors that captured their imaginations and inspired an early interest in science.

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Listen to The World Science Podcast
Every Friday, The World Science Podcast brings you the best science news from around the globe. It's one aspect of an NSF-funded collaboration between PRI and Sigma Xi. As part of the show, Sigma Xi's Elsa Youngsteadt (SX 2009) chats with host Rhitu Chatterjee about the week's top science headlines.

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USA Science and Engineering Festival October 10-24
Sigma Xi is among the collaborating science organizations for the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, the country's first national science festival, in Washington, D.C. Opening on October 10 with a concert of amazing science songs, the festival promises to be the ultimate multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the U.S. It culminates with a free, two-day Expo on the National Mall featuring more than 1,500 fun, hands-on science activities and 50 performances on four stages.

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Science for Citizens
ScienceForCitizens.net connects regular people to citizen science research they can do. If you need volunteers, this database-searchable by zip code, subject, time commitment, and other criteria-will help interested volunteers find your study. The database already includes hundreds of projects in astronomy, birds, climate, environment, insects and the ocean. Membership in scienceforcitizens.net is free and easy, and all members are invited to upload images and write blog posts about their citizen science exploits. Already using ScienceForCitizens.net? We'd love to hear how it's going! E-mail elsa@sigmaxi.org

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Hans Conrad (SX 1955), a professor emeritus in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University, was featured by the Raleigh News and Observer for his ongoing work. He recently co-authored two papers that, according to the report, "could revolutionize the manufacture of ceramics." At 88, he is one of the world's oldest working scientists.

Tzu-Yang Yu (SX 2007), an assistant professor in the Structural Engineering Research Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell, has been elected 2010 Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and invited to visit Japan in 2011 to receive the award. While there, he will give a series of talks on his research about far-field airborne radar nondestructive testing technique and dielectric modeling of cementitious composites.

Honorary member David Perlman (SX 1989), science editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, has been honored with a lifetime achievement award for a journalism career that spans seven decades. The Society of Professional Journalists awarded Perlman, 91, the 2010 Helen Thomas Award for his service and contributions to the profession.

Honorary member Paul Raeburn (SX 1997) has won the 2010 Media Award for Print Coverage of Family Issues from the Council on Contemporary Families, an academic research organization, for his story "The Father Factor," which appeared in Scientific American Mind.

George D. Bennett (SX 2000) has been promoted to professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.

Marilyn W. Waite (SX 2006) has published a new book titled
Sustainable Water Resources in the Built Environment
(IWA Publishing, 2010), which covers elements of water engineering and policy-making in the sustainable construction of buildings, with a focus on case studies from Panama and Kenya. The book provides comprehensive information based on case studies, experimental data, interviews and in-depth research. A civil and environmental engineer, Waite has worked, studied and conducted research in over eight countries across five continents. She currently resides in France, where she continues to work on sustainability issues.

Nadrian C. Seeman (SX 1984), the Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Chemistry at New York University, has been named the co-recipient of the 2010 Kavli Prize in nanoscience. Seeman discovered that DNA could be used to construct an assortment of molecule-sized devices and machines. In a recent study published in Nature, he and others showed how they built from DNA a functioning assembly line of molecular robots.

A book by Stephen J. Morewitz (SX 2000), called Death Threats and Violence. New Research and Clinical Perspectives (New York: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC), has been nominated for the Edwin Sutherland Book Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (Law & Society Division). The book will be discussed in an Author Meets Critics session at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in San Francisco in November.

Stephen C. Brown (SX 2004), district agricultural agent at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, reports that on May 9 he successfully climbed 20,320-foot Mt. Mckinley (Denali) following a 12-day expedition starting on the Kahiltna Glacier. "Our five-member team was the first American team to summit for the 2010 climbing season," he says. "Summit temperature was a brisk -60 below zero."

Kevin C. O'Kane (SX 1974), professor of computer science at the University of Northern Iowa, has a new book out, Omaha, dramatizing the dangers to privacy, the infrastructure and national security posed by today's highly interconnected electronic culture. It's available in ebook format.

Robert H. Posteraro (SX 1987), assistant professor at Texas Tech University HSC School of Allied Health Sciences, was voted the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award by students in the Clinical Practice Management Program.

Lawrence P. Seidman (SX 1966) has been ordained as a rabbi by the Academy for Jewish Religion-California. He is particularly interested in connecting religion with scientific thinking. He is also writing a weekly column on religion for the Orange County Register.

Brian C. Hart (SX 2002), an astrophysicist in Madison, Alabama, has started work on his second Ph.D., this time in electrical engineering. "I am doing this because I believe that one should never stop learning!"

Gerald Sonnenfeld (SX 1979) has been named vice president for research at Clemson University.

Laurence M. Demers (SX 1981) Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Medicine at Penn State University's M.S Hershey Medical Center, has been selected by the American Association of Clinical Chemistry as the recipient of the 2010 Morton K. Schwartz Award for Significant Contributions in Cancer Research Diagnostics.

Harry E. Nursten (SX 1962) and his late colleague, James Rothwell, recently published The University of Reading, Department of Dairying, the History of an Unusual University Department Over Its First Hundred Years. Copies can be obtained from him, £10 UK, £12 from overseas, including postage.

Harold M. Farrell (SX 1969), an emeritus research chemist at the USDA's Dairy Processing and Products Research Unit (Eastern Regional Research Center), has received the California Dairy Research Foundation's William C. Haines Dairy Science Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of dairy science.

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

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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 Emeritus 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.


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

Editor: Charles Blackburn
919-547-5212, or 800-243-6534, ext. 212
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