Friday, March 27, 2009

Sigma Xi

Here at Oakland University, this Tuesday, March 31, is our annual Sigma Xi lecture (4 pm in 201 Dodge Hall of Engineering). Each year, we invite a leading scientist to OU to give a lecture for a general audience. This year Dr. Vicki Chandler, Chief Program Director of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, will give a talk about "Epigenetic Silencing Across Generations." (The term "epigenetic gene silencing" describes the switching off of a gene by a mechanism other than genetic modification. That is, a gene that would be expressed, or turned on, under normal circumstances is switched off by machinery in the cell.)

For six years, I served as the president of the Oakland University chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. As readers of the
4th Edition of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology become biomedical researchers, they should consider joining Sigma Xi. I joined as a graduate student at Vanderbilt University.
"Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are nearly 60,000 Sigma Xi members in more than 100 countries around the world. Sigma Xi chapters, more than 500 in all, can be found at colleges and universities, industrial research centers and government laboratories. The Society endeavors to encourage support of original work across the spectrum of science and technology and to promote an appreciation within society at large for the role research has played in human progress."
The mission of Sigma Xi is "to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition." As a member of Sigma Xi, you automatically receive a subscription to American Scientist, the award-winning illustrated magazine of science and technology. I particularly enjoy Henry Petroski's monthly essay on topics in engineering, and the book reviews are outstanding. The magazine alone is worth the cost of membership. Another benefit that I look forward to each day is Science in the News, a free e-mail bulletin featuring top science and technology stories. Sigma Xi also has an annual meeting, including a student research conference. Last year, the meeting was November 20-23 in Washington, DC. The society is a strong advocate of scientific research, and is worthy of support.

Finally, you have to love the society's motto: "Companions in Zealous Research".

No comments:

Post a Comment