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Sigma Xi
Founded 1886
Cornell University
Type Honor Society
Scope International
Motto Companions in Zealous Research.
Colors Blue, Gold
Chapters 350 Active in the United States, 170 Inactive, 20+ International
Headquarters 3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society is a non-profit honor society which was founded in 1886 at Cornell University by a junior faculty member and a handful of graduate students. Members elect others on the basis of their research achievements or potential. Despite the name, Sigma Xi is neither a fraternity nor a sorority, and today is open to all qualified individuals who are interested in science and engineering.

Today the Society comprises nearly 60,000 scientists and engineers belonging to more than 500 Sigma Xi chapters at universities and colleges, government laboratories and industry research centers. Almost all are in the United States, though there are about 20 chapters in Canada and single chapters in about 20 other countries. In addition to publishing the award-winning American Scientist magazine, Sigma Xi provides grants 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 Greek letters "sigma" and "xi" form the acronym of the Society's motto, "Spoudon Xynones," which translates as "Companions in Zealous Research."

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


Culture: The Society is a diverse chapter-based organization dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering through outstanding programs and services delivered in a collegial and supportive environment.

Mission: 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: To be the global honor society of science and engineering.

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