• Call for nominations for VT chapter officers

    To: Virginia Tech Chapter, Sigma Xi

    From: Doug Pfeiffer, Chapter President

    It’s time to elect officers for your Sigma Xi chapter.  This is a great opportunity to support science within the university and in the larger community.  At this time, it will be very helpful to participate in our chapter’s efforts to bring science to the public, educating people in what we do.  Our chapter helps to support Science on Tap, a fun and popular avenue for people to share what they do with an interested public.   We also make annual research awards for graduate and undergraduate students.  There will be additional opportunities for the public forum that will arise, chances to bring our science to colleagues in other disciplines, as well as the public.

    We aim to hold election in May, with terms beginning on 1 July.  We need people to stand for President Elect, Treasurer and Secretary.  Please send nominations for these offices to me (; self-nominations are great, but also consider your co-workers!  Graduate students have been great officers as well (both treasurer and secretary)!

    General duties follow:

    President: oversees all operations, chairs executive board meetings and induction ceremony, fills out the annual chapter report

    President-elect: In first year, helps President in duties, and becomes President in second year

    Secretary: All communication for society—usually through the Sigma Xi Communities

    Treasurer: Quarterly bank account/spending report, fills out annual treasurer’s report

    Thanks for your consideration!


  • SLU Sigma Xi Annual Research Symposium!

    Join us for our Annual Research Symposium on Monday, April 3rd, 2023! 

    We are happy to be returning to an in-person event this year!

    Information available under events and in our new community posting.

  • Zoom link for talks


    I realized I didn't make the zoom note a link today.  But the zoom information isn't changing.

    Meeting ID: 942 9721 5195 Passcode: S1gmaX1

    Sorry - Kelly

  • Monthly zoom link


    I realized I didn't make the zoom note a link today.  But the zoom information isn't changing.

    Meeting ID: 942 9721 5195 Passcode: S1gmaX1

    Sorry - Kelly

  • Darwin Day 2023

    Please come to UD Darwin Day on February 15 and 16.  

    On February 15,

    Wednesday February 15, 2023 Morris Library 4:30 PM

    Pop Goes the Beagle: Darwin for Children Margaret Stetz

    Science is increasingly being politicized and scientists themselves demonized. Meanwhile, what children learn in classrooms and in libraries is also under hostile scrutiny. This talk will bring together the subjects of Darwin and education. Through a survey of recent British and American books for young readers, many of them illustrated, we will consider what authors are teaching children about Darwin’s life, voyages, discoveries, theories and, more generally, about the role of science in the past and present.

      On February 16, we will have four speakers starting at 3:30 in the ISE building Room 215

    Thursday February 16, 2023 Room 215 ISE Building 3:30 PM

    Monogamy: What's Love (and the Placenta) Got To Do With It?  Will Kenkel

    Are humans monogamous? If so, why? Why is our mating system so strange? Why is our pregnancy and childbirth so dangerous? A new hypothesis ties together many of these strange features of human reproduction and explains them via the evolution of another of humanity's core features: our large brains. In a celebration of Darwin Day and Valentine's Day, Professor Kenkel will put the evolution of the brain and the placenta at the forefront of what it means to be human.

    4:00 PM Cezanne and His Land: Geology, Meaning and Aesthetics Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer

     4:30 PM Darwin's Botany and Plant Animation in H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon Mary Bowden

    The pioneering science fiction writer H. G. Wells (1866-1946) was a trained scientist who frequently used evolutionary themes in his novels and short stories. In this presentation, I examine how Wells employs major themes from Charles Darwin’s botanical works, especially Darwin’s 1880 book The Power of Movement in Plants. I argue that Wells’ depiction of growing, moving lunar plants in his 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon made Darwin’s plant movement experiments imaginable to a broad popular audience. Further, I suggest that Wells’ protagonists react to moving plants much like Darwin’s audiences did. Initially overcome with awe, Wells’ protagonists also express anxiety about what plants’ movements might suggest about the relative places of humans and plants in the world. Wells’ fiction thus mirrors both Darwin’s findings and reactions to them, showing the entanglement of literary and scientific understandings of plants in late nineteenth-century Britain.


    Keynote Speaker, 5:00 PM, Room 215 ISE Building

    An Afternoon with the Neandertals 

    Fred H. Smith, Sigma XI National Distinguished Lecturer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology Illinois State University

    Neandertals have long been considered the epitome of the dumb cave man.   Early ideas emphasized not only their physical, but also their perceived behavioral and intellectual, inferiority compared to modern humans. Among the differences emphasized were those relating to language, symbolic behavior,  technology and morphology.  Recent discoveries find no evidence to assume inferiority in intelligence on the part of Neandertals. We now know that Neandertal morphology reflects adaptation to the harsh, cold environs of western Eurasia during the Pleistocene rather than primitive inferiority. Both the Neandertals' morphology and behavior provide insight into why these well-adapted people were ultimately replaced by early modern humans.

  • Stanford Chapter In-Person Meeting

    Dear Colleagues,

    The Stanford Chapter of Sigma Xi is pleased to announce that it is resuming full activity in 2023, and to celebrate we're inviting you to dinner and a talk by Dr.'s Nathan Meezan and Chris Young from Lawrence Livermore National Labs to discuss their role in the recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion research which took place there. We've also invited Dr. Richard Watkins from Sigma Xi's national headquarters, and Dr.'s Tim Zwier and Aaron Sharpe from Sandia National Labs to discuss careers in research and how Sigma Xi can help both the Stanford Community and individual students and professionals.

    The event takes place on January 19th in the MacKenzie Room in the Huang Engineering Center on Stanford's campus, doors open at 5:30 PM. You may RSVP here, though space is limited, so please respond as soon as you're able. Please see the attached flyer for full details.

    Sigma Xi has over 100 years of history at Stanford, and is re-launching now to lay out an inclusive and supportive vision for the future. Membership is not required to attend the event, but the chapter is looking for new members and leaders to set the agenda and to make the organization into one that truly serves everyone interested in research. More info is available online at Stanford Sigma Xi's Website, and we're happy to answer any questions sent to

  • Rudy Ruggles STEM Interdisciplinary Research Award

    The WCSU Sigma Xi Chapter is Calling all Northeast Region Sigma Xi members to apply for this new award that celebrates research excellence through interdisciplinary research.  Information and applications can be found in the link below.
  • Just in case you missed it...

    We recorded our first Science Cafe presentations, just in case you missed it! Eben*9Vn

    We are planning to hold another Science Cafe in the Spring. We are also planning to bring back our spring banquet. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Katie Hinde from Arizona State University. She will speak about the Science of Communicating Science. Stay tuned!
  • Join us December 2nd for our first Science Cafe!

    The ASU Chapter of Sigma Xi invites you to our inaugural Science Café!

    Join us in-person or virtually to hear about research and meet your colleagues

    All are welcome - membership is not required!!

    Date: December 2, 2022

    Time: 11:00 am – 12:00pm

    Location: Walton Center for Planetary Health (see WCPH on this interactive map of ASU: ASU Interactive Map), room 209

    Parking is available in the Novus Parking Structure. A pedestrian bridge is available on the 3rd level of the parking structure and connects directly to the 2nd floor of the building.


    Meet our Guest Speakers and 2022 mini-grant recipients:

    Danny Jackson, Graduate Student in the School of Life Sciences, "Urban Evolution in Arizonan Cardinals"

    Raúl Araya Donoso, Graduate Student in the School of Life Science, "What constrains population differentiation? Low ecological and morphological divergence in the side blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana) on Baja California"

  • Sigma Xi Holiday Event on Nov 30th!

    Dear Sigma Xi members,

    Please, join us for the Sigma Xi Holiday Meet-and-Greet event on November 30th, 3:30 - 5:00 pm, MDD 1075! Anyone involved in research is welcome to come mingle and learn more about the Sigma Xi Honor Research Society and how to get involved with our SLU Chapter. We will have cookies, drinks and holiday giveaways. 

    RSVP at:

    Hope to see many of you there!

    Dr. Silviya Zustiak, President

    Dr. Vincenza Cifarelli, President-Elect

    Dr. Dana Baum, Secretary and Treasurer, Past President

  • President-Elect Nominee Statement   From Kathy Lu, Virginia Tech

    Dear all,

    I was asked to share this statement to you all by President-elect nominee Kathy Lu. I hope this helps as you decide your vote.



    Dear Sigma Xi fellow members:


    It is my great honor to have this opportunity and share with you my vision and plan for Sigma Xi. I am running for President-Elect because I care deeply about our society. I am eager to contribute my time and knowledge to make Sigma Xi stronger.


    I became a Sigma Xi member when I was a graduate student about 24 years ago. Since then, I have worked both in industry and in academy. I have been a professor in Materials at Virginia Tech for 19 years. Currently I am the Director of AI-guided materials thrust in our College of Engineering. Besides being elected as the Fellow of two professional societies, I have also had year-long executive leadership training. This provides me a great combination of scientific knowledge and leadership skills to serve Sigma Xi.


    My past involvement and responsibilities in Sigma Xi have also given me the experience and knowledge to address many of the challenges. I served on the Sigma Xi Executive Committee; collectively we made the headquarter relocation site decision. I actively participated in the Society’s activities, such as the Hall of Honor Nobel Laureate Induction Ceremony, and gained an understanding of the opportunities and challenges that our Society faces, such as social media opportunities and active membership drop challenges. In addition, I am the Director of the Research and Doctoral Universities Group and a Member of the Committee on Awards. These experiences prepared me well to serve as Sigma Xi President-Elect.


    Our society’s mission is to promote ethics and excellence in scientific research. Sigma Xi has worked hard to promote science through Grant-In-Aid of Research and Distinguished Lectureships. We have at least 10 award categories to recognize outstanding scientists. Sigma Xi has also established different partnerships, such as with the American Junior Academy of Sciences. But more needs to be done. We must continue to be a strong voice for science through creative programs and effective actions.


    If elected as President-Elect, I will work hard to improve Sigma Xi’s profile and influence, in the U.S. and around the world. My goal is to make Sigma Xi the science society that every other society looks up to. I will strategically seek out peer societies for collaboration.


    Sigma Xi needs to attract young people and new members. We need to connect with the brilliant minds of the future. We need to mobilize our current members for new nominations. Many of our members join Sigma Xi in their college studies. We are most likely to lose these active members after they leave a campus. Considering that at least 60% of doctorate recipients in the U.S. work outside academy, we need to increase our engagement away from college campuses. Our members in industry, non-profits, and research labs can provide strong mentorship to our new members. They can also offer directions and guide our members in professional growth. We must engage industry, research organizations, and non-profits to broaden our community.


    If elected as President-Elect, I will help to foster greater engagement in our community, such as establishing Sigma Xi ambassador programs and chapter mentoring programs across the country. The power of retaining and motivating members lies in local chapters. We must creatively work with local chapters to keep expanding our membership pool. Sigma Xi initiatives and materials developed by exemplary chapters should be distributed throughout the Society. We need to fully use social media for member engagement and science advocacy. We also need to develop new members internationally. This means growing our international chapters, hosting our conferences overseas, etc.


    Sigma Xi started in 1886 to join hearts and hands and form a brotherhood in science. In today’s world, we need to broaden this outlook and form brotherhood and sisterhood of all races, ethnicities, genders, and religions. We should also reach out to different professional societies, such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, to build a robust, diverse, and inclusive community.


    Science offers solutions to world problems. And the public needs to put science to use. Sigma Xi has the best talents, networks, and experiences to improve public understanding of science. We need to work with K-12 schools in STEM outreach. We also need to build partnerships with museums and community groups in promoting science education.


    Last but not least, if elected as President-Elect, I will actively engage in fundraising. I will work with funding agencies and foundations, develop philanthropic initiatives, re-engage existing members, and establish new membership drives.


    Together, we make our Society strong! I look forward to working with you all. Again, this is Kathy Lu and I love to have your vote for the President-Elect opportunity.


    Thank you.
  • Combined Federal Campaign Support Sigma Xi made easier for federal employees

    Sigma Xi has joined the CFC campaign. If you are a federal employee you can now contribute through payroll dediction!   The CFC # is 92932  or look up SigmaXi.  It so easy to now give... as little as $5 a pay period adds up quickly to help Sigma Xi in its mission.  ​