From the President: Join Us in Finding Solutions through Research

August 18, 2020

Dear Sigma Xi members,

Sonya Smith This summer, the world has been challenged to address both racial inequality and the COVID-19 pandemic. Sigma Xi and other scientific organizations have issued, and signed on to, statements supporting equity and inclusion in scientific research. Scientists, some of whom are members of Sigma Xi, are leading the search for a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. The bottom line is that the research we do is foundational to creating the new knowledge required to address problems in our society. It is more important now than ever that as Sigma Xi members we redouble our research efforts to provide a path to solutions to address society’s challenges. It is also important that we communicate those solutions to the public and wider research community. Paraphrasing the words of Representative John Lewis, we must “never be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble” on behalf of science.

The Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference is coming up on November 5–8 and will provide a perfect platform to share the work we’re doing to achieve solutions. Given that this is now a virtual event, we can reach audiences who may not have been able to attend the conference in person. I urge you to register and share the invitation. At the meeting, we will explore the benefits of interdisciplinary collaborations that can push our research to the next level with new perspectives and ideas. The theme, Hacking the Brain: The Intersection of Art and Neuroscience, places emphasis on collaborations between the arts and science, technology, engineering,and math (STEM). Abstracts for virtual student poster presentations will be
accepted through October 1.

Sigma Xi has set a priority in its strategic plan to cultivate a diverse and inclusive research community. Sigma Xi’s Statement on Racial and Social Justice says, “we have a responsibility to advocate for equity and inclusivity in all segments of society.” Whether at the local level or at the global level, it is our duty to encourage all qualified scientific researchers to become members of Sigma Xi, to be active participants in promoting the well-being of the research sector, and to create a welcoming community for each other so we can benefit from each other’s perspectives and knowledge.

Our core values—excellence, integrity, diversity, scholarship, leadership, and cooperation—are embodied by so many of our colleagues and students. Sigma Xi always welcomes more, and diverse, voices who will speak up for research and promote science to the public and to policymakers. Who could you honor with a nomination for membership? Thank you for your commitment to research excellence.

Sonya T. Smith 
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society 

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