Reports from CAIP Affiliates:
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
General Goals and Organization
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society is the global honor society of scientists and engineers that recognizes scientific achievement. The Society is a diverse, grass-roots organization dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering through outstanding programs and services delivered in a collegial and supportive environment. Sigma Xi’s mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science, and promote the public’s understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi programs address major issues at the intersection of science and society and embody the spirit of the Society’s mission:
- Improving Science Education
- Enhancing the Health of the Research Enterprise
- Fostering Integrity in Science
- Promoting the Public’s Understanding of Science
- Building a Global Network of Researchers
A vital part of Sigma Xi's mission is to foster worldwide interactions among scientists and engineers through a network of more than 500 Sigma Xi chapters at major research universities, teaching colleges, government laboratories and industry research centers. Working in all fields of science and engineering, Sigma Xi's membership represents more than 100 different countries. Membership in Sigma Xi is meant to foster a sense of companionship among colleagues who, no matter what their field of study, share a common interest in promoting research in science and engineering. Because science is a global activity, Sigma Xi's goals are to:
- Help coordinate and emphasize the global voice of scientific and engineering research
- Improve the global network of scientists and engineers across disciplines and encourage interdisciplinary dialogue
- Facilitate greater cooperation and sense of community among scientists and engineers globally, and especially to increase our ability to bring scientists of developing nations more effectively into international scientific and engineering endeavors
- Provide encouragement, companionship and support to younger scientists and engineers around the world
Most recently, Sigma Xi has been collaborating with the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development in convening the U.N.-Sigma Xi Scientific Expert Group (SEG) on Climate Change. This group has been charged with preparing science-based recommendations for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change for the Commission For Sustainable Development. The SEG’s first meeting was at the new Sigma Xi Center in Research Triangle Park, NC in December 2004.
The Society’s International Partner pilot program provides researchers in developing countries with an affordable model for establishing local Sigma Xi groups that have the same membership standards and mission as Sigma Xi Chapters. Sigma Xi now has two International Partners-Sigma Xi Georgia http://www.sigmaxi.org/sxgeorgia, based in Tbilisi and Sigma Xi Moscow http://www.sigmaxi.org/sxmoscow
Created as part of the Packard International Science Networking Initiative, the new Expertise Database http://sigmaxi.org/programs/international/expertise.php allows scientists and engineers around the world to post and search scientific profiles in order to find potential research collaborators or peers to help edit their manuscripts. Anyone can post a basic profile (name, contact information, primary language and keywords), but the profiles of Sigma Xi members display additional information such as education, research interests, other languages and publications.
Several other resources designed to make information more accessible to researchers around the world are now available. A free, full-text online archive http://magazine-archive.americanscientist.org was created to provide a way to view and search American Scientist magazine content over a low-bandwidth Internet connection. The International Resources Web site http://sigmaxi.org/programs/international/resource.shtml contains links of interest to scientists and engineers around the world pertaining to research and education, and the International Newsletter http://sigmaxi.org/programs/international/newsletter.shtml highlights developments, opportunities and meetings in international science networking within the Society and worldwide.
The establishment of a Sigma Xi International Partner enables a group to set and collect their own annual dues in their local currency, which is intended to assist groups where the cost of current annual membership dues in US$ prohibits the formation of a local Sigma Xi group. This program applies only to developing countries as defined by the World Bank, including what are categorized as “low-income,“ “lower-middle income” and “upper-middle income economies.”
Student researchers around the world are eligible to apply for the Society’s Grants-in-Aid of Research program http://www.sigmaxi.org/programs/giar. The program awards grants of $1,000 or less to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project. Applications may be submitted online only, and the annual deadlines are 15 March and 15 October.
2005 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting
2-6 November 2005
Seattle, Washington, USA
2006 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting
1-5 November 2006
Detroit, Michigan, USA
American Scientist http://www.americanscientist.org
Sigma Xi International Newsletter http://sigmaxi.org/programs/international/newsletter.shtml