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July 2003

Sigma Xi International Newsletter
Volume 2, Number 7
July 2003

This monthly electronic bulletin is designed to keep subscribers updated on developments in Sigma Xi's international activities as well as provide links and topics of interest to researchers around the world. To submit an item to the newsletter, contact the International Program Coordinator at international@sigmaxi.org. If you would like to, you can download and print a PDF version of this newsletter. To receive notice of this monthly newsletter, please use this online form.

Past Issues

In This Issue

Sigma Xi's First International Partner Co-Hosts Workshop in Tbilisi
Sigma Xi,
International Women in Science & Engineering (IWISE), and the Georgian Sigma Xi International Partner (Sigma Xi Georgia) recently held an international workshop, "Gaining Knowledge and Skills Needed for Scientific Communication and Collaboration," in Tbilisi on June 9-12. With more than 30 speakers from within and outside the Caucasus region, the workshop included more than 90 total participants. Co-sponsorship from the Georgian Research & Development Foundation (GRDF), Armenia's National Foundation of Science & Advanced Technology (NFSAT) and UNESCO allowed the participation of researchers from other parts of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The topics discussed included: using the Internet to identify prospective scientific collaborators, using electronic journals, establishing electronic journals, applying for international grants, writing manuscripts for international publications, science in local universities and research institutes, local resources, and young scientists. Raul Turmanidze, the Vice Rector of Georgian Technical University, called the workshop "the most important scientific meeting we've had in Georgia in the past decade."

Founding members of the first Sigma Xi International Partner,
Sigma Xi Georgia, at their inauguration in Tbilisi.

Following the workshop, Sigma Xi Georgia, the first Sigma Xi International Partner, held its inauguration ceremony at a local art gallery. Sigma Xi Georgia includes members from the Georgian Academy of Sciences as well as Georgian Technical University. Spearheaded by Dr. Ia Zhvania, this group successfully applied in 2002 for a Packard Initiative networking award to create a Georgian Science Information Network. The establishment of a Sigma Xi International Partner enables a group to set and collect their own annual dues in their local currency, which is intended to assist groups where the cost of US$55/member/year prohibits the formation of a local Sigma Xi group.

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G8 Summit "Science & Technology for Sustainable Development" Action Plan
Last month to build upon the results of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, G8 leaders meeting in Evian, France, put forth an action plan addressing the use of science and technology for sustainable development. The action plan focuses on three areas: co-ordination of global observation strategies; cleaner, sustainable and more efficient energy use; and agricultural sustainability, productivity and biodiversity conservation. Specific objectives listed the steps, organizations and international meetings through which the goals will be achieved, and the group has pledged to work together with developing countries in building their research capacity. The full action plan is available
online. [Source: SciDev.Net]

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UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and
Knowledge Launched

As a follow up to the 1998 World Conference on Higher Education and the 1999 World Conference on Science, UNESCO and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) have partnered to create a
Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge. Not only will the forum provide a platform to bring together researchers, policy makers and experts to critically discuss research issues in and on higher education, but also the overall objective is to broaden understanding of the systems, structures, policies, trends and developments in higher education and research. [Source: ICSU Insight]

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Women in Science & Technology Study
The Millennium Science Initiative, based at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, is conducting a study to identify the barriers women face when pursuing careers in science and technology in developing countries. The study will result in a set of suggestions to strengthen women's participation in science and technology in these regions. If you are interested in taking part or would like more information, please contact Edda Magnus at

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Ukraine Networking Site
The Kharkov, Ukraine group that was awarded a Sigma Xi Packard Initiative Networking Award recently completed the Web site for their
Geriatric Medicine and the Biology of Aging Network. One tool that this group has found very useful is the preparation of research summaries or abstracts in English of work that was published in non-English journals.

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International Visitor's Office Established
The U.S. National Academies
Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO) has recently established the International Visitor's Office (IVO) to collect data from concerned scientists and engineers, and report problems to consular officers at the U.S. Department of State. The IVO now maintains a list of meetings held in the United States that are sponsored by international organizations; universities; and scientific, technical and medical societies. It shares this list with Department of State officials on a regular basis to help them validate the claims of visa applicants who say they intend to participate in a given meeting. The IVO website also has guidelines for societies that want to host meetings in the United States. [Source: BISO News]

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Did You Know?
The U.S. National Academies Keck Futures Initiative has announced a new annual award to "honor and reward outstanding work that has advanced the public's understanding and appreciation of science, engineering, medicine, and/or interdisciplinary research." The
Keck Futures Initiative Communication Awards recognize excellence in communications through print, radio, television or film. The rules stipulate that the candidate's work must have been published in English in the U.S. during 2001 or 2002. Three US$20,000 awards will be presented in November at the Keck Futures Conference. Nominations must be received by August 1, 2003. [Source: SciDev.Net]

August 1st is also the deadline to submit nominations for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Award for International Scientific Cooperation. This award is designed to recognize an individual, or a limited number of individuals working together, in the scientific or engineering community for making an outstanding contribution to furthering international cooperation in science and engineering.

Created by the Stockholm Water Foundation, the Stockholm Water Prize is presented annually to an individual, institution, organization or a company and recognizes outstanding research, action or education that increases knowledge of water as a resource and protects its usability for all life. Nominations for this $150,000 award must be received by September 30, 2003. The Stockholm International Water Institute Web site has more details. [Source: SciDev.Net]

The closing date for nominations for the Equator Prize is October 5, 2003. This prestigious international award recognizes outstanding local achievement in combining poverty reduction with biodiversity conservation and is open to grassroots initiatives within the equatorial belt. Six awardees will each receive a trophy and US $30,000. [Source: SciDev.Net]

The Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides support for young scientists from Latin America for post-doctoral training in the United States. The fellowship includes a two-year stipend while performing research at a U.S. institution as well as $35,000 to help the fellow establish a laboratory in his/her home country. Applications are due October 1, 2003. [Source: SciDev.Net]

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Upcoming Meetings
India's National Science Communication Congress (NSCC); Visakhapatnam, India; August 29-30, 2003.

Education for a Sustainable Future: Shaping the Practical Role of Higher Education for Sustainable Development; Prague, Czech Republic; September 10-11, 2003.

Third Meeting of Science Journalism in Chile; Bosques del Mauco (near Santiago), Chile; October 16-17, 2003.

European Science and Technology Week; multiple locations throughout Europe; November 3-9, 2003.


For more information on any of the programs mentioned in this newsletter, please contact:

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P. O. Box 13975, 3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
Telephone: +1-919-549-4691 or +1-919-547-5246
Fax: +1-919-547-5263
E-mail: international@sigmaxi.org


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