Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.

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Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, was formed in 1886 at Cornell University as an honor society for science and engineering; the original founders of Sigma Xi were members of the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering at the university. Moving beyond the Society's early intention of fostering companionship, Sigma Xi has since evolved to offer the sciences a strong, unified voice in support of scientific advancement and achievement.

From the description of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society records, 1928-2003 [manuscript] (North Carolina State University). WorldCat record id: 537697053

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society was formed in 1886 at Cornell University as an honor society for science and engineering. The Greek letters "sigma" and "xi" refer to the words "Spoudon xynones," which translates to "companions in zealous research," the organization's motto. The original founders of Sigma Xi were members of the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering at Cornell. Members were optimistic that the fledgling society would move engineering beyond basic mechanical and shop training to focus on an academic grounding for the discipline. The new organization also recognized the contributions of scientists - regardless of gender - by admitting women members as early as 1888.

Moving beyond the society's early intention of fostering "companionship," Sigma Xi evolved to offer the sciences a strong, unified voice in support of scientific advancement and achievement. In 1948, Sigma Xi addressed the needs of the growing number of scientists in the industry by establishing a branch known as the Research Society of America (RESA). Though RESA had its own governing board, the two societies worked closely together, eventually uniting in 1973.

After experiencing administrative difficulties in Sigma Xi's first twenty-five years, the delegates voted to create a powerful Executive Committee in 1914. This new board provided a centralized governing body for the organization. The Society's first prominent administrator, Thomas T. Holme, was named executive secretary in 1953, a post he held for the next 28 years. Holme's efforts as secretary made an immediate impact, and led Sigma Xi toward a truly national identity, as the Society and its chapters experienced rapid growth in science beginning in the 1950s. Holme steered the organization through the tremendous changes that occurred in science in the 1960s and 1970s.

Many other prominent leaders succeeded Holme in directing Sigma Xi through the challenges science presented in the 1980s and thereafter. The Society continues to grow in popularity and numbers, boasting over 550 affiliate chapters within North America and around the world. Through the Grants-in-Aid of Research program, Sigma Xi has helped to fund student scientific research for several decades. Sigma Xi also produces a bi-monthly research journal, American Scientist, to further the spread of scientific knowledge. Today, the Society works to continue the promotion of scientific research across all disciplines, and also works to honor achievements in scientific endeavors.

Sigma Xi established its headquarters in Ithaca, New York, at Cornell University in 1886. Eventually the headquarters moved to New Haven, Connecticut, at Yale University, where it remained for the better part of the twentieth century. In 1990, the organization moved its headquarters to Research Triangle Park, in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area.

From the guide to the Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Records, 1928 - 2003, (Special Collections Research Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society records, 1928-2003 [manuscript] North Carolina State University, NCSU Libraries
referencedIn Guide to the Administrative Papers of Chancellor George Bugliarello, 1995-2011 Poly Archives & Special Collections at Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology
referencedIn Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972. Sigma Xi, Honorary Society, Charter, 1946. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Printed materials, 1930-2000. University of Oklahoma, Bizzell Memorial Library
referencedIn Guide to the Administrative Papers of the President George Bugliarello, Bulk, 1973-1994, 1973-1994 Archivist Toolkit
creatorOf Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Records, 1928 - 2003 North Carolina State University. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Frances M. Richardson Papers, 1948 - 2006 North Carolina State University. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Manhattan College. Honor societies collection, 1933-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn North Carolina State University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering Records, 1924 - 2006 North Carolina State University. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter photographs, 1947-1953. Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech
referencedIn Richardson, Frances M. Frances M. Richardson Papers, 1948-2006 [manuscript]. North Carolina State University, NCSU Libraries
referencedIn North Carolina State University, College of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Records, 1889 - 1996 North Carolina State University. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Niels Bohr Library. History of physics institutional history collection L-S, [ca. 1883]-1989, (bulk 1960-1989). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Lindsay, Robert Bruce, 1900-. Intellectual autobiography, circa 1983. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Williams family papers, 1809-1952. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn North Carolina State University. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. North Carolina State University Department of Materials Science and Engineering records, 1924-2006 [manuscript] North Carolina State University, NCSU Libraries
referencedIn Luce, Wilbur M. (Wilbur Marshall), 1896-1980. Papers, 1924-1979. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn Downstate Medical Center (N.Y.). Records, [ca. 1850]-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Williams family. Williams family papers, 1809-1952. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Brown, Frederick Lyons, 1890-. Oral history interview of Frederick L. Brown by Charles E. Moran [manuscript], November 19, 1975. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn North Carolina State University. Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering. North Carolina State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering records, 1889-1996 [manuscript] North Carolina State University, NCSU Libraries
creatorOf Whitney, Robert McLaughlin, 1911-1985. Papers, 1940-1980. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ahearne, John F. person
associatedWith Blair, Peter D. person
associatedWith Brown, Frederick Lyons, 1890- person
associatedWith Bugliarello, George, (Georgio Bugliarello-Wondrich), 1927-2011 person
associatedWith Colwell, Rita R., 1934- person
associatedWith Cornell University. corporateBody
associatedWith Downstate Medical Center (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Ferguson, Evan R. person
associatedWith Ferguson, Evan R. person
associatedWith Jackson, C. Ian. person
associatedWith Lindsay, Robert Bruce, 1900- person
associatedWith Luce, Wilbur M. (Wilbur Marshall), 1896-1980. person
associatedWith Malone, Thomas F. person
associatedWith Malone, Thomas F. person
associatedWith Manhattan College. corporateBody
associatedWith McNamara, Thomas person
associatedWith McNamara, Thomas. person
associatedWith Niels Bohr Library. corporateBody
associatedWith North Carolina State University. Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering. corporateBody
associatedWith North Carolina State University. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. corporateBody
associatedWith Poziomek, Edward J. person
associatedWith Research Triangle Park. (N.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Richardson, Frances M. person
associatedWith Richardson, Frances M. person
associatedWith Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter corporateBody
associatedWith Whitney, Robert McLaughlin, 1911-1985. person
associatedWith Williams family. family
associatedWith Yale University. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
North America
United States
Research Triangle Park (N.C.)
Subject
Aerospace engineering
Research--Finance
Science--North America--Societies, etc
Research--history
Research--United States--History
Science--United States--Congresses
Science--Periodicals
Science--Congresses
Science--History
Science--Societies, etc
Science--United States--History
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1940

Active 1980

Americans

English

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