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August 18, 2006

Sigma Xi Creates New Category of Participation in the Society

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC Sigma Xi, the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, has created a new category of participation in an effort to promote greater public involvement in issues at the intersection of science and society.

The Sigma Xi Affiliate Program is open to all those who support the society's mission, but who are not otherwise qualified for membership.

Sigma Xi (pronounced "Zi") has about 60,000 members in 100 countries, who were elected to membership based on noteworthy research achievements. More than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize.

"One of our primary goals is to increase public engagement in science and technology, and the new Sigma Xi Affiliate classification is designed to help achieve this," said Sigma Xi Executive Director Patrick D. Sculley. "It also allows us to recognize those who make important contributions to research, both inside and outside the laboratory."

Through the new Affiliate Program, Sigma Xi welcomes all those who support its mission, including science and math teachers, technicians, clinicians, science writers, students and science enthusiasts. Benefits include a subscription to award-winning American Scientist magazine, published by Sigma Xi since 1913. Sigma Xi Affiliate dues rates, details on benefits and an application form are available online.

The new Affiliate categories include:

Professional: Individuals who work in or have earned a degree in science or engineering and who support Sigma Xi's mission.

Friend: Individuals who support Sigma Xi's mission but who are not directly involved in science or engineering.

Student: Students who are taking a curriculum of science, technology, engineering or math and are interested in pursuing research careers.

Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is a non-profit society with more than 500 chapters in North America and abroad. The society awards grants to hundreds of student researchers each year and also promotes hands-on science and engineering education, ethical research practices and networking among scientists and engineers around the globe.

Sigma Xi provides a free, daily e-mail bulletin called Sigma Xi SmartBrief, an enhanced daily summary of science news. Informal gatherings called Sigma Xi Science Cafes engage scientists and the public in discussions of news-making topics from stem cell research to space exploration.

Other recent initiatives include a survey and national forum on issues affecting more than 50,000 American postdoctoral researchers and a joint project with the United Nations to develop practical responses to global climate change.

The society's administrative offices are located in the new Sigma Xi Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.


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