September 02, 2016
It is that time of year when many of us turn a new page ending summer vacations or beginning a new academic year, or perhaps just looking forward to the calm transition to autumn. For Sigma Xi, it is also a time for renewal: induction, meetings, events like a Science Café, looking forward to the Annual Meeting in Atlanta...
Some weeks ago I volunteered to help chapter leaders engage your administrations/management in promoting Sigma Xi where you are. That offer still stands. Leaning that way, I suggest that your chapter has the opportunity to become, if it isn't already, an umbrella organization for not management, not governance, but communication, amongst researchers for not only your chapter organizations, but all research elements within the purview of your chapter. Two areas that might attract some attention, but are worth pursuing in any event:
1. An invitation for your management and administration and leading researchers to your chapter’s fall event to discuss promotion and organization of, say:
advocacy for assembling an interdisciplinary research project or for student research across campus,
collaborative grant pursuit,
joint social events,
broader impacts of university, company, or governmental lab research results
science/research policy involvements
recruitment of Society leaders
and so on...
2. Recruitment of inductees and affiliates. Many departments, schools, branches, divisions, etc. have fallen out of the habit of inducting their young constituents. We need to get back into this habit! Every young researcher and every student in every discipline that involves scientific research should have an opportunity to join Sigma Xi as an affiliate from where they can aspire to associate and full membership―someday the Gold Key Award.
I strongly advocate that every young researcher should be urged to join or aspire to membership in Sigma Xi, the home disciplinary organization, and AAAS. AAAS is offering 20% off their join rate for Sigma Xi members for a limited time. You know―affiliate and regular inductees are a like-minded subset of young researcher aspirants. Sigma Xi can be one of their social outlets.
Sigma Xi should be the starting place for young researchers to get accustomed to the life of a professional.
As I always say to my leadership and staff, maintaining and growing scientific research (i.e. Sigma Xi) is a CONTACT SPORT. I know you are busy! I know you don't have time, but this is our profession, this is our passion, this is our duty.
So, as the old sage said, "If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it." That's you.
John C. Nemeth, PhD
Executive Director and CEO
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society