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Cooper begins term as president of Sigma Xi

Professor Stuart Cooper, president, Sigma XiProfessor Stuart Cooper, president, Sigma XiStuart L. Cooper, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at The Ohio State University, started his term as president of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, on July 1.

Cooper is one of the few engineers elected to lead this large, international society which serves diverse disciplines in the sciences and engineering. He joins several Ohio State faculty who have also led the society recently: Professor Mark Peeples in the Department of Pediatrics (2015-2016) and Linda Meadows, retired assistant vice president of research (2013-2014).

Sigma Xi's activities are centered in scores of local chapters, with 22 chapters in Ohio alone. The Ohio State University has a particularly active and successful chapter, currently led by President Noah Weisleider, professor of physiology and cell biology.

Among the programs where Sigma Xi impacts the Ohio State University community are its Grants-in-Aid of Research program for undergraduate and graduate students, its Science Cafés that engage the public, and its interaction with K-12 educators and students. From its headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Sigma Xi also publishes the award-winning magazine American Scientist, which is provided as a benefit to all its active members.

While Cooper’s role as president is focused on the national organization, he hopes that Ohio State faculty in general, and Sigma Xi members in particular, will nominate their best researchers for the honor of membership in the Society. More than 200 Nobel laureates have been members of Sigma Xi. 

“We have entered a very challenging time period where there is much heated discussion relating to societal issues and research and the challenge of slow growth or diminishing support for research,” Cooper said. “Sigma Xi as well as related national organizations such as AAAS and virtually all of our disciplinary societies are speaking out on behalf of all of us who participate in research. We need to pull together to strengthen the nation’s research enterprise which undergirds our economic prosperity now and into the future. With election to Sigma Xi, researchers at The Ohio State University can help support these efforts,” he said.

Requirements for membership in Sigma Xi include the student’s aptitude and success in research, which can be documented by such accomplishments as authorship on peer-reviewed publications, presentations of research at national meetings, and related activities. See the nomination form on the local chapter website.

Learn more about Sigma Xi’s national organization at https://www.sigmaxi.org/ and about the Ohio State chapter at http://sigmaxi.org.ohio-state.edu/