Sigma Xi, an international science honor society, currently has more than 60,000 members representing all scientific disciplines, pure and applied. The society was founded in 1886 at Cornell University, but today, there are more than 500 chapters around the world. Its original aims were to promote friendship, companionship, and cooperation among scientists and to recognize and reward excellence in science. These aims are accomplished by holding meetings to discuss scientific subjects, publication of a journal, The American Scientist, and support of research and education via Grants-in-Aid of Research and National and Regional Lectureships, and by awards and prizes. Recent winners of Grants-in-Aid support at Georgetown can be found here.
A new mission statement was adopted by the Society’s Board of Directors in 1989: “The mission of Sigma Xi is to honor scientific accomplishments, to encourage and to enhance the worldwide appreciation and support of original investigation in science and technology, and to foster worldwide a creative and dynamic interaction among science, technology, and society.”
Membership is by nomination at one of two levels. First, associate memberships are available to those starting their research careers and have shown an aptitude for scientific research. Second, full memberships are awarded to those who have shown “noteworthy achievement” in the scientific arena.
For more information about the society and becoming a member, please visit the Sigma Xi homepage.
History of the Georgetown Chapter
During its first 100 years, Sigma Xi acknowledged quality scientific research being performed at colleges, universities, private and government research laboratories by granting Charters for the establishment of Clubs and Chapters, the status being determined by the quality and quantity of research being conducted. Accordingly, the Executive Committee of the Society granted a Charter for the establishment of a Club to be known as the Georgetown University Club of Sigma Xi in 1954. Following the doubling in size of the basic science departments, viz., Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics, between 1960 and 1963, and with the completion of the Reiss Science Center in 1962, the President and Executive Secretary of Sigma Xi granted a Charter for the establishment of a Chapter to be known as the Georgetown University Chapter to the Charter Members and Charter Associate Members in 1967.
The Georgetown Chapter Today
The Georgetown Chapter continues to grow and expand. At present, the Chapter holds two major events each year, both in the Spring. First, an undergraduate research forum is held in the 2nd or 3rd week of April, where talented seniors from around the University present their senior thesis or honors thesis work. The top candidates by faculty vote are awarded the Sigma Xi Research Medal. Second, the Chapter sponsors an annual induction ceremony and dinner, usually held the 3rd week in April. The Chapter inducts into associate membership 25 – 30 graduating seniors who have conducted quality senior thesis research projects and graduate students who have made substantial progress on their doctoral thesis research. Several graduate students who have completed their doctoral research and faculty members are inducted as full members each year as well.
Ideas for other Chapter events are welcomed by the officers.
- President: Alex Theos, Ph.D., Department of Human Sciences, School of Nursing and Health Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice-president/Secretary: Anne Rosenwald, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Georgetown College, email@example.com
- Treasurer: Vicente Notario, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, School of Medicine, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Historian: George B. Chapman, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Georgetown College, (202) 687-5811 (no email available)
Please contact any one of us for further information about the Chapter or about becoming a member.