Magazine article American Scientist

From the President

Magazine article American Scientist

From the President

Article excerpt

Our Efforts to Revitalize Sigma Xi

As my term as president of Sigma Xi begins, it is evident that the Society is entering a new phase of its distinguished history, but one that encompasses serious challenges including its relevance to both its current members and to scientists in general. Research scholars have long been served well by Sigma Xi's focus on promoting the highest quality scientific research in each new generation and on strongly supporting the integrity of the scientific methods practiced by all researchers. As credible understanding of science and technology becomes increasingly critical in a broad range of societal decisions, Sigma Xi is beginning to examine how its mission can be more relevant to those who are concerned not only about how research is conducted, but also about how the results of that research are used in societal decisions.

Sigma Xi has an opportunity to revitalize its mission so that it is relevant to the broadening interests of all scientists. For example, can Sigma Xi help ensure that the credible scientific understanding emerging from the quality research it has long promoted is consistently incorporated into societal decisions? The 18-month collaboration between Sigma Xi and the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP) showcases an innovative approach addressing this issue. The ISGP debates will be demonstrated November 8, 2014, at the Annual Meeting (see page 397). This will provide an opportunity for Sigma Xi members to evaluate how the approach pioneered by the ISGP might benefit a revitalized Sigma Xi mission, especially for those research scientists focused on how their research is used in policy decisions. …

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