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Members » Member Newsletters » October 2010

October 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 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. Keynote speakers include Gale A. Buchanan, dean and director emeritus, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia; Starnes E. Walker III, director of research, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Daniel J. Gustafson, director, Liaison Office for North America, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; John T. Hoffman, senior research fellow, National Center for Food Protection and Defense; and Barbara Glenn, vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs, CropLife America. Registration and program details are available online.

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Food Safety and Security in the News
From salmonella in eggs to tainted produce, food safety and security have been much in the news. Our roundup of related news items, drawn from our free e-newsletter Science in the News Daily, is frequently updated. Many of these issues will be addressed November 11-13 at our symposium on Food Safety and Security in Raleigh.

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Student Research Conference November 12-13
We're expecting a good turnout for the student research conference during the 2010 Annual Meeting and International Research Conference in Raleigh. So far, we've gotten more than 250 poster abstracts. Sigma Xi members will act as judges for the poster competition. 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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Research Ethics in the News
As part of our ongoing Ethics Program, Sigma Xi has begun tracking news stories involving research ethics, a list of which can be found via the link above. The stories are drawn from Science in the News Daily, our free e-newsletter. A recent Ethics Summit at the Sigma Xi Center was the initial step in developing a proposed new booklet on authorship issues to complement Sigma Xi's ethical guidebooks Honor in Science (1984) and The Responsible Researcher: Paths and Pitfalls (1999), both of which are now available online in a PDF format.

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Send Us Your Sigma Xi Stories
In honor of Sigma Xi's 125th anniversary in 2011, we're collecting stories about the Society. Have you ever gotten a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research? Tell us about how it helped your career. What about a favorite Sigma Xi mentor? Has American Scientist magazine inspired your research or led to a fruitful collaboration? Did a chapter program provide valuable insight into a field of research? We'd like to hear from members about their Sigma Xi experiences over the years. Send your stories to: development@sigmaxi.org

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David Wong Wins 2010 Bugliarello Prize
American Scientist has awarded David T. Wong the George Bugliarello Prize for his article, "Salivary Diagnostics," in the January-February 2008 issue. The Bugliarello Prize honors a superior interdisciplinary essay, review of research or analytical article published in the magazine.

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Four Members Win 2010 Nobel Prizes
Three Sigma Xi members will share this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Richard Heck (SX 1953), University of Delaware; Ei-ichi Negishi (SX 1968), Purdue University; and Akira Suzuki (SX 1964), Hokkaido University, Japan. Peter Diamond (SX 1960) at MIT will share the economics prize. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize.

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Six Members Win National Medal of Science
Six Sigma Xi members are among 13 eminent American researchers to be selected to receive 2010 National Medals of Science and Technology, the nation's highest honor for scientists, inventors and engineers. They will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year.

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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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Volunteers Needed for Spirit of Innovation Awards
We're looking for mentors and judges for the 2011 Spirit of Innovation Awards, a nationwide competition founded on the legacy of Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad. The program challenges teams of high school students to create innovative products using science, technology and entrepreneurship to solve 21st century problems. The 2011 competition will focus on products in aerospace, clean energy and cyber security. Teams and mentors can register online now to take advantage of the collaborative community. Product submissions are due by December 17. Phase one competition judges review and score proposals for up to five teams each online during December and January, providing about 10 hours of invaluable volunteer scientific expertise. The Conrad Foundation sponsors the competition. Sigma Xi serves as the official science advisor.

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John A. Knox (SX 2000), assistant professor of geography at the University of Georgia, will receive the T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award from the National Weather Association at its 2010 annual meeting. Knox is being honored for his clear-air turbulence forecasting research, which has led to "the development of advanced satellite and numerical techniques for the diagnosis and prediction of high altitude clear-air turbulence, resulting in improved flight safety."

Three Sigma Xi members have been named 2010 MacArthur Foundation Fellows. John Dabiri (SX 2001) is a biophysicist at the California Institute of Technology who explores the hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion. Kelly Benoit-Bird (SX 2001) is a marine biologist at Oregon State University who is using acoustic engineering technology to research ocean creatures. And Marla Spivak (SX 1990) is an entomologist at the University of Minnesota who studies and protects the honey bee.

Xin Wang (SX 1999), an associate researcher at Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently published The Dawn of Angiosperms (Springer, 2010), a new book on the origin of angiosperms (flowering plants). The book introduces a new interpretation of the nature of carpel and flower, and marks the latest progress in deciphering the century-long mystery of angiosperm origin.

Nagib M. A. Nassar (SX 2006), a geneticist, botanist and plant breeder at the University of Brazil, published an article in the May 2010 issue of Scientific American on Breeding Cassava to Feed the Poor. In the article, he and colleague Rodomiro Ortiz say that cassava root, a main food source for millions of people living in the tropics, has the potential to become a more productive and more nutritious crop, alleviating malnutrition in much of the developing world. Also see a related report on cassava's potential by the International Development Research Centre in Canada.

Gaston M. N'Guerekata (SX 2009), professor of mathematics at Morgan State University, has received the University's Outstanding Award for Research and Scholarly Achievement.

Robert B. Wenger (SX 1974), professor emeritus of natural and applied sciences (mathematics), was in Peru in August to participate in two programs: the 14th Biennial Environmental and Water Resources Seminar and Study Tour at La Molina University in Lima and The International Seminar on the Contamination of Watersheds at the University of Tumbes in the city of Tumbes. He gave a presentation at both events titled "Assessment of Risks to the Green Bay Ecosystem with an Emphasis on Climate Change Impacts."

Roger C. Hill (SX 1966) has retired from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville after 40 years on the physics faculty there. Prior to teaching at SIUE he received his B.S. and Ph.D. at Caltech and was a research associate and lecturer at Northwestern University for two years. Beside spending time on numerous hobbies, he hopes to finish a long-standing project of writing a senior-level textbook on quantum mechanics.

William R. "Bill" Klemm (SX 1963), a semi-retired professor of neuroscience at Texas A&M University, known as the "Memory Medic," has just released a new e-book, Better Grades, Less Effort. The book explains the memory tips and tricks he used to become valedictorian, an honors student at three universities--including graduating with a D.V.M. degree, and to secure a Ph.D. in two-and-a-half years. He shares what he has learned about student learning over 47 years as a professor. Klemm claims that poor memory is what holds most students back from superior achievement. He argues that this book can change a person's life.

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
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