Sigma Xi and American Scientist on WCOM 103.5 FM

September 12, 2014


Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, and its magazine, American Scientist, were featured on a live radio broadcast September 10 from WCOM 103.5 FM in Carrboro, North Carolina. A recording of the broadcast is available at

Jamie Vernon, director of science communications and editor-in-chief of American Scientist, and Fenella Saunders, the magazine’s managing editor, represented Sigma Xi. They spoke with radio host Ernie Hood for his weekly science program, Radio In Vivo.

The discussion covered the history of Sigma Xi and American Scientist  as well as how the editorial team works with scientists to create articles that explain their research to the general public and other scientists.

“We really value the opportunity that we offer scientists to speak directly to readers,” said Vernon.

They also discussed their perspectives on the future of science communication. It’s important that the public learn about science so that people understand the importance of research, said Vernon. If they are familiar with science, they are more likely to support investments in research. Some scientists are helping in this effort by becoming more involved with science communication whereas others are receiving pushback from their institutions, which want them to spend all their time on research, said Saunders.

Also discussed was Sigma Xi’s newest publication, Chronicle of The New Researcher. This journal digitally publishes research papers from pre-collegiate students.

Photo: From left: Fenella Saunders, managing editor of American Scientist; Ernie Hood, host of  Radio In Vivo; and Jamie Vernon, director of Sigma Xi’s science communications and editor-in-chief of  American Scientist.

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety