Sigma Xi

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Sigma Xi
Founded 1886; 132 years ago (1886)
Cornell University
Type Honor Society
Scope International
Mission statement 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.
Vision statement To be the global honor society of science and engineering.
Motto Companions in Zealous Research
Colors      Blue and      Gold
Publication American Scientist
Chapters 350 Active in the United States, 170 Inactive, 20+ International
Members 60,000[1] collegiate
Headquarters 3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
United States

Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society (ΣΞ) is a non-profit honor society for scientists and engineers which was founded in 1886 at Cornell University by a junior faculty member and a handful of graduate students.[2] Members elect others on the basis of their research achievements or potential.

Information about[edit]

Sigma Xi has nearly 100,000 members[3] who were elected to membership based on their research achievements and potential. It has more than 500 chapters[4] in North America and around the world. In addition to publishing American Scientist magazine, Sigma Xi provides grants[5] annually to promising young researchers and sponsors a variety of programs supporting ethics in research, science and engineering education, the public understanding of science, international research cooperation and the overall health of the research enterprise. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Motto and name[edit]

The Greek letters "Sigma" and "Xi" form the acronym of the Society's motto, Σπουδῶν Ξυνῶνες or "Spoudon Xynones," which translates as "Companions in Zealous Research." The word 'Honor' was added to the name of the Society at the 2016 Annual Meeting.[6] According to Sigma Xi President Tee L. Guidotti,

"Sigma Xi, of course, is our basic name and has been since the organization was founded in 1886 as the scientific and engineering counterpart to Phi Beta Kappa. Like all “Greek letter” societies, whether professional or social, it is an acronym for the motto of the organization, Σπουδων Ξυνωνες (Spoudon Xynones), which translates as "companions in Zealous Research." For many years, we were referred to as “Society of the Sigma Xi.” In the early twentieth century, some in the leadership wanted “Sigma Xi” to be dropped altogether in favor of some formulation such as “Scientific Research Society of America.” In a strange quirk of history, both names survived because the organization split in the 1940s into an academic honor society (Sigma Xi) and an honor society for applied research and engineering (the Scientific Research Society of America, called RESA). RESA was a separate entity, wholly owned by Sigma Xi, and represented engineers and scientists at non-academic institutions, such as government and industrial research laboratories. In an even stranger development, Sigma Xi and RESA merged back together in 1974 and eventually began calling itself Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society."[6]

Notable Alumni[edit]

More than 200 winners of the Nobel Prize have been Sigma Xi members,[7] including Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Linus Pauling, Francis Crick and James Watson.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]