News Archive

Farewell Message from the President

June 27, 2018

Stuart CooperThis is my last message to Sigma Xi’s members, affiliates, and explorers as president of your society. I have been greatly honored to serve in this capacity and have been pleased to see steady progress for our organization along many fronts. Foremost has been the selection of Jamie Vernon as our new executive director and chief executive officer, and kudos to Immediate Past President Tee Guidotti for chairing the search committee that led to this outcome.

During the past year we have importantly been connecting with sister societies to speak out during a time of considerable stress regarding challenges to evidence-based decision making in Washington and raising concern over a retreat from dealing with environmental issues. Other Sigma Xi initiatives have been to build up our development team so that we may strengthen our finances in order to enhance the Grants-in-Aid of Research program, improve and enhance local chapter support, and respond to societal issues related to research that are increasingly coming to the fore.

Lastly, we addressed a fiduciary responsibility to reduce our endowment funds’ management fees. Our finance committee chair David Baker led us to select a mutual fund family and to choose several diversified index funds resulting in significant savings.

I am also most pleased with the symposium I organized on Atmospheric Chemistry, Climate, and Health which included our traditional Student Research Conference. The symposium, which took place in Raleigh, was a successful stand-in for our 2017 Annual Meeting. We had a world class group of speakers, great talks, and an engaged audience.

This year we are looking forward to incoming President Joel Primack’s hand in organizing a return to a full four-day Annual Meeting near San Francisco with the theme of “Big Data and the Future of Research.” Please make every effort to attend as a great array of speakers, along with scores of student researchers with poster presentations, will be there.  

I would be remiss if I did not close by saying that challenges remain for Sigma Xi in the future. We must grow our membership by increased inductions of promising researchers and develop programmatic initiatives that retain active members throughout their careers. We also must find revenue beyond dues and subscriptions to enhance our programs, member activities, and—most importantly—support for student researchers. 

Again, it has been a pleasure to serve Sigma Xi and I look forward to continued involvement during my year as past president and into the future.


Stuart Cooper's signature

Stuart L. Cooper

Stuart L. Cooper’s Sigma Xi presidency runs July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.