KEYED IN

Welcome to Keyed In, the blog of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society. This will be the go-to place for Sigma Xi members and others to learn about what’s happening in the science and engineering industry. We will share thoughts and perspectives related to Sigma Xi’s mission, including ideas that deal with the health of the research enterprise, integrity in science and engineering, and public understanding of science, as they contribute to improving the human condition. We will give updates about the remarkable work conducted by Sigma Xi chapters, which are spread across the globe. We will report on trends in research and anticipate where the industry is going. And, we will offer advice to young scientists and engineers. Our ultimate goal is to provide useful information that will lead to a more connected and more effective research community.

  • 10 Key Findings from the IPBES Global Assessment

    by Sigma Xi Staff | May 15, 2019
    Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, an endangered species
    Last week, a report from the United Nations gave precise detail about how nature and its critical contributions to people are deteriorating worldwide.
  • Shutdown Story: NSF Graduate Fellowship Program Reviewer's Concerns

    by Heather Thorstensen | Mar 11, 2019
    Office Desk
    A member serving as an application reviewer for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program has raised concerns about the consequences to the program from the 2018–2019 government shutdown.
  • The Spirit of Giving Science

    by Jamie Vernon | Dec 20, 2018
    Jamie Vernon
    In his December message, Sigma Xi Executive Director and CEO Jamie Vernon reflects on the year's research accomplishments and member accomplishments.
  • Sigma Xi Members Hold the Key

    by Jamie Vernon | Nov 28, 2018
    Hold the Key Video
    In his November message to members, Executive Director and CEO Jamie Vernon explains the significance of the Sigma Xi key and invites all members to extend the honor of membership and the key of Sigma Xi to all who embody the qualities sought in our fellow companions, including dedication to research excellence and integrity.
  • 2018 October Madness: Raffle Winner

    by Heather Thorstensen | Oct 05, 2018
    Empty October Madness Circle
    The winner of a free year of Sigma Xi membership dues or a year in the Sigma Xi Affiliate Circle is announced as the conclusion of the 2018 run of October Madness, the Nobel Prize prediction contest.
  • How Will Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Change Science?

    by Jamie Vernon | May 15, 2018
    vernon-240x187
    We’re beginning to see the influence of big data sets, and the technology to process them, in every area of research. A need exists for in-depth conversations about the ethics of data collection, analysis, usage, how we will communicate discoveries when the process is largely computer-driven, and how the current scientific infrastructure system will need to adapt to accommodate big data-based research initiatives.
  • What Role Should Sigma Xi Play as a Research Advocate?

    by Jamie Vernon | Jan 23, 2018
    US Capitol Building
    Sigma Xi members, affiliates, and explorers discuss critical issues in science as part of the Society’s Quarterly Conversations initiative. In light of the recent government shutdown, this quarter’s discussion will explore how Sigma Xi should represent the research enterprise in the political system.
  • Sigma Xi is The Scientific Research Honor Society: What is Research, Anyway?

    by Tee Guidotti | Jan 10, 2018
    Tee Guidotti
    Recently, a conversation thread in Sigma Xi’s online member community, The Lab, asked the decidedly not rhetorical question, “How does Sigma Xi define research?” Past President Tee Guidotti provides the leadership team's perspective.
  • Should Sigma Xi Support Open Access?

    by Jamie Vernon | Oct 20, 2017
    Jamie L. Vernon
    What happens when a university fails to renew a journal subscription that is used by its faculty or publishers charge exorbitant fees to download scholarly articles? One possible solution to disseminating scientific information is open access, a system that makes research articles available to all interested parties at no cost. Sigma Xi members are discussing the pros and cons of this publishing system.
  • October Madness: Drawing Winner

    by Heather Thorstensen | Oct 05, 2017
    October Madness
    The winner of a free year of Sigma Xi membership dues or a year in the Sigma Xi Affiliate Circle is announced.
  • Sigma Xi Speaks: Addressing Climate Disasters

    by Jamie Vernon | Sep 21, 2017
    SigmaXi_0509(11-12-16)
    Executive Director and CEO Jamie L. Vernon explains how members can contribute to the debate around climate policy.
  • Voting Opens for 2017 October Madness

    by Heather Thorstensen | Aug 29, 2017
    SigmaXiKey240x187
    Sigma Xi's 2017 Nobel Prize prediction contest, October Madness, starts today! Cast your vote in the Sweet 16 round.
  • Can Sigma Xi Fix the Reproducible Science Crisis: A Member Responds

    by John Fennick | Aug 21, 2017
    Scientists Investigating the Plague
    Sigma Xi member John Fennick weighs in on the reproducible science conversation, with history on the subject and his ideas for solutions.
  • Sigma Xi Speaks: Eclipse Party Planner

    by Jamie Vernon | Aug 16, 2017
    Jamie L. Vernon
    It's not too late to plan a solar eclipse watch party with your family, friends, or Sigma Xi chapter. These ideas will help make your party a total success.
  • Developing Effective Messages Means Developing a Deep Understanding of Narrative: An Interview with Scientist-Turned-Filmmaker Randy Olson

    by Aaron Huertas | Jul 25, 2017
    Randy Olson 240x187
    A Q&A with Randy Olson explores why scientists struggle with communication and a storytelling template that could help.
  • New Quarterly Conversations

    by Jamie Vernon | Jul 19, 2017
    Jamie L. Vernon
    In the July edition of Sigma Xi Speaks, Executive Director and CEO Jamie Vernon asks members, affiliates, and explorers to participate in discussions about the irreproducibility of numerous published scientific studies, and what can be done to address this issue.
  • Sigma Xi Speaks: June 2017

    by User Not Found | Jun 20, 2017
    John Nemeth
    In October 2015, I wrote that becoming interim executive director and CEO of Sigma Xi for six months was a singular honor. Now, some 21 months later, I was correct. It has been the single greatest honor of my long and varied career.
  • Sigma Xi Speaks: March 2017

    by User Not Found | Mar 22, 2017
    john_nemeth_preferred_photo240x187
    Sigma Xi Executive Director and CEO John C. Nemeth shares how Sigma Xi is celebrating women in science and shares three books featuring female scientists.
  • Now is the Time to Speak Up

    by Heather Thorstensen | Mar 01, 2017
    Barry Mitsch
    This is a guest post written by communication coach Barry Mitsch. It is the responsibility of everyone who values scientific research to show the value science plays in future advancements that contribute to economic growth and improved quality of life. Mitsch shares tips on sharing your message.
  • Sigma Xi Speaks: February 2017

    by User Not Found | Feb 21, 2017
    John Nemeth
    Sigma Xi Executive Director and CEO John C. Nemeth encourages members to get involved with the March for Science.

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