Sigma Xi Speaks: May 2017

by John Nemeth | May 17, 2017

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Saturday, April 22, 2017, is a day I won’t forget. And I’d venture that, for nearly anyone who joined the March for Science that day—whether they were in Washington, DC, or any of the other 600 cities that held marches—the event was unlike anything they’d seen. City streets overflowed with a combined one million scientists and advocates of science, all there to celebrate the incalculable value and pervasive impact of scientific research. Amazing!

As I’ve reflected on the March for Science with Sigma Xi colleagues, we’ve come to realize that for us—even as the event galvanized energy worldwide around science outreach—it also served as a potent reminder that our organization must remain steadfast in achieving its mission. 

It’s imperative that we sustain the momentum of the movement propelled by the March for Science. Political winds change over time and ideologies may come and go, but we know that science literacy and research are foundational to a peaceful and thriving U.S. and world economy.

Moving forward, as we aim to both nurture and protect the health of the research enterprise, Sigma Xi seeks opportunities to expand its public presence as science guardians—on multiple levels and in diverse environments—while continuing to stand firm in the commitment to preserve and attain the highest standards of quality and ethics in scientific research.

Sigma Xi is committed to advancing science and advancing the benefits of scientific research, and we are a stalwart champion of evidence-based policymaking that supports the common good. We will persevere in our efforts to encourage leaders in Washington and all levels of government to prioritize scientific research funding, science education, and science-based policy. Now, and into the future, your continued support is vital in conserving a functioning science enterprise. As always, we encourage feedback, ideas, and participation. To share your thoughts, contact us at executiveoffice@sigmaxi.org or drop me a line at jnemeth@sigmaxi.org.

Kids Science Reading Corner

As we consider new ways of reaching out as scientists, thinkers, and communicators, it’s a great time to think about how kids can experience the sciences creatively, too. Here are some books that may help:

hello_nature_book_cover (149x223)(cropped)Hello Nature: Draw, Color, Make, and Grow, by Nina Chakrabarti (ages 7–11): Despite its targeted age range, kids much younger than seven are sure to enjoy this book, too. Its charming illustrations and straightforward nature activities (identifying trees by their leaves, for example, and sketching discoveries from nature walks) encourage thinking, creating, and getting outside to observe the natural world. Younger readers may need help with some of the projects, such as making leaf prints, but that in itself can be part of the fun.

Professor Astro Cat’s Intergalactic Activity Book, by Zelda Turner, illustrated by Ben Newman (ages 7–11): This colorful and innovative activity book—which was inspired by the first title in the Astro Cat series, Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space—will have kids drawing their own constellations, sketching robots they’d like to invent, and ever so much more.

I Love Science: A Journal for Self-Discovery and Big Ideas, by Rachel Ignotofsky (preteens and up): I Love Science easily stands on its own, but it’s worth mentioning that it can also be seen as an extension of Ignotovsky’s 2016 title, Women in Science. Quotes from groundbreaking women in STEM appear throughout the journal, and writing prompts (such as “What natural phenomena would you like to witness and why?”) encourage young writers to think introspectively while also imagining how they might engage with the world.

Sincerely,
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John C. Nemeth, PhD
Executive Director and CEO
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
Publisher of American Scientist

Sigma Xi Speaks is a monthly series of information that we hope you share with others.

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