#SciCommMake Winner Announcement

May 04, 2020

Media Contact:
Heather Thorstensen
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
hthorstensen@sigmaxi.org or (919) 549-4691 ext. 216

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—Two teams of scientists and artists have been selected to receive funding for projects that share science with the public. They are the winning teams of the first #SciCommMake, organized by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society and Science Talk

“This project is actually the first-ever event of this kind where we bring together scientists and artists to form collaborative teams to create science communication projects,” said Jamie Vernon, executive director and CEO of Sigma Xi. 

In April, approximately 30 people came together online for #SciCommMake and they formed nine teams. The teams had two weeks to develop their ideas and work with coaches before presenting their ideas to judges, who selected the top two teams. The winning teams will each receive $1,000 thanks to sponsorship from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 

The winning teams will have until November to complete their projects. They will be provided support to travel to present at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference, which has a theme focused on interdisciplinary collaborations and runs November 5–8, 2020, in Alexandria, Virginia. 

The next #SciCommMake is planned for later this month. Sigma Xi is raising funds to support a special session of #SciCommMake that will be focused on science communication projects about COVID-19. Scientists and artists who wish to participate in the special session should watch #SciCommMake on social media. 

Winning Teams

Shira Gordon and Devika Nair
For their project that uses dance to help explain functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Justice Morath and Amanda Pluntze
For their project about printing cartoons and infographics on prescription medicine bags to address common questions and misconceptions about a patient’s prescriptions  

Sigma Xi and Science Talk thank the following coaches and judges of #SciCommMake.


Sara Yeo, University of Utah
Kristin Lewis, American Association for the Advencement of Science
Roger Aines, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Amy Aines, Damianakes Communications
Russ Campbell, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Paige Brian Jarreau, LifeOmic 

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. www.sigmaxi.org. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety