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Honor Society Commits to Leading Improvements in Research

March 30, 2018

Media Contact

Heather Thorstensen
Manager of Communications
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society or (919) 549-4691 ext. 216

Jackson, Guidotti, Clinton, Vernon

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—At a time of high tension between science and the United States government, a group of scientists, engineers, and supporters gathered in Washington, DC, on March 29 to discuss how the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers plans to strengthen the research enterprise. 

Held at the historic Cosmos Club, the event was the third stop in a nationwide tour by leaders of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society. Previously, the Society held receptions near Sigma Xi’s headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and in Austin, Texas.

“It seems that scientists are being marginalized and scientific evidence is being treated as an inconvenience by many policymakers,” Sigma Xi Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Jamie L. Vernon said during the March 29 reception. “We are optimistic, however, that by joining together, the community will persevere during this challenging time for science.”

In addition to external problems facing the research community, science has its own issues regarding the ethical conduct of research that Sigma Xi plans to address, such as concerns about scientific reproducibility, global access to scientific data, and the inclusion of underrepresented groups in science and engineering careers. 

“We need to bring forward a vision for scientific research going forward that embraces diversity, shared and open knowledge, sustainability, justice, and productivity with equity,” said Sigma Xi’s Immediate Past President Tee Guidotti. 

Guidotti stated that Sigma Xi is recommitting itself to its historical mission of celebrating excellence in research, supporting research, and benefitting the public.

The reception also featured Sigma Xi member Carter Clinton, a graduate student at Howard University, who received a research grant from the Society and was named a top presenter in Sigma Xi’s 2017 Student Research Conference. Clinton discussed the mentors who inspired him, including his research project’s principal investigator, Fatimah Jackson, director of the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory at Howard University, who is also a Sigma Xi member and grant recipient.

The next tour stop about Sigma Xi’s future will be held during the Society’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in California. The meeting will be held October 25–28, 2018.

Photo caption

From left: Sigma Xi member and Howard University faculty member Fatimah Jackson, Sigma Xi Immediate Past President Tee Guidotti, Sigma Xi member and Howard University graduate student Carter Clinton, and Sigma Xi Executive Director and CEO Jamie L. Vernon at the Sigma Xi reception on March 29 in Washington, DC.  

Related reading

Full remarks by Executive Director and CEO Jamie L. Vernon
Full remarks by Immediate Past President Tee L. Guidotti