John F. Ahearne
Sigma Xi Executive Director Emeritus and Emeritus Director, Ethics Program
John Ahearne was named Executive Director Emeritus of Sigma Xi in recognition of his many contributions to the Society. He served as Sigma Xi Executive Director from 1989-1997 and has directed Sigma Xi’s ethics program since then. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Ahearne is an expert on nuclear power and nuclear weapons. He was an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering and lecturer in public policy at Duke University and is an adjunct scholar for Resources for the Future. His popular ethics booklet, The Responsible Researcher: Paths and Pitfalls (1999), updates and complements Sigma Xi’s widely-circulated guidebook, Honor in Science. A physicist, Ahearne has also served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense and has been active on National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences committees. A past president of the Society for Risk Analysis, he is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was inducted into Sigma Xi in 1964.