Report of the Committee on Awards
for the Year Ending June 30, 1998
The Committee met on November 20, l997 in Washington, DC during the November 1997
The William Procter Prize
During its meeting in November, the Committee discussed several excellent nominations
for the Procter Prize to be given at the November,1999 Annual Meeting in Vancouver. The
Committee subsequently recommended that Dr. Carl Djerassi, Professor of Chemistry at
Stanford University, be elected by the Board of Directors to receive the November 1998
Procter Prize. The Board accepted the Committee's recommendation. Dr. Djerassi has
accepted the nomination. He will receive the Prize and deliver the Procter Prize Address
during the November 1998 Annual Meeting in Vancouver. Dr. Djerassi has done some of the
initial research on the chemistry of natural products including the development of several
steroids and antihistamines. In addition, Dr. Djerassi synthesized the first oral
contraceptive, founded a medical research company, was president of Syntex, and has
written eight books and published numerous poems and short stories in literary magazines.
At the November 1997 Annual Meeting, Dr. Philip Morrison, Institute Professor Emeritus
of Physics of at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was awarded the Procter Prize
and presented the Procter Prize Address, Head Start on the Millennium. Dr. Morrison is a
distinguished theoretical astrophysicist, a respected scholar-philosopher and interpreter
of science and technology for the general public, and a leading expert on, and advocate
of, nuclear and conventional arms reduction. Dr. Morrison has authored or co-authored a
dozen books, has been a columnist and the regular reviewer of science books for Scientific
American, and has appeared widely on radio and television in a number of science
Each year, the winner of the Procter Prize has the privilege of naming a young
colleague to receive a $5,000 Grant-In-Aid of Research from the Procter Prize Fund. Dr.
Morrison chose William Mphepeng Lesame, a mathematician at the University of South Africa.
He was present at the November,l997 Annual Meeting to accept his Award.
Dr. Djerassi has nominated Dr. Jose Giner of Syracuse University. Dr. Giner has agreed
to accept his nomination at the 1998 Annual Meeting. Dr. Giner is Assistant Professor of
Organic Chemistry at Syracuse University and was Dr. Djerassi's last Ph.D. student.
At its November 1997 meeting, the Committee on Awards recommended, and the Board of
Directors subsequently approved, the nomination of Mr. Maurice F. Strong as an Honorary
Member of Sigma Xi. Mr. Strong is recognized worldwide for his activities towards securing
a global plan for sustainable development of humans and the environment (Earth Summit).
Mr. Strong has accepted the nomination and will receive his Honorary Membership at the
November 1998 meeting.
Mr. Bill Kurtis and Mr. David Ansley, previously elected as Honorary Members, accepted
their Honorary Memberships at the November 1997 Annual Meeting. Mr. Ansley is the Science
Editor for Consumer Reports magazine. Mr. Kurtis is the executive producer and host
of "The New Explorers" TV Series and is a news anchor for WBBM-TV in Chicago. At
the Annual Meeting, Mr. Kurtis also participated in the workshop, "Communicating
Science on Television." He talked about (and briefly demonstrated) his acclaimed
science documentary series which has led to an innovative education program called the
"Electronic Long Distance Learning Network (eld!n)." He also shared some
sequences from his "The New Explorers" series at the annual banquet.
Young Investigator Award
Dr. John D. Gillaspy, a member of the Atomic Physics Division at the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersberg, MD, was selected by the
Committee on Awards to receive the first Young Investigator Award. The Board of Directors
approved his nomination. He has accepted and will receive his Award and speak at the 1998
Annual Meeting. Dr. Gillaspy is the leader of the Electron Beam Ion Trap project at NIST.
He is a member of the NIST Sigma Xi Chapter.
Regional nominees receiving certificates of recognition as outstanding young
investigators include: Dr. M. Kutzner (North Central Region), Dr. C. Young (Northwest
Region), Dr. M. Akay (Northeast Region) and Dr. G. Hademenos (Southwest Region).
The Young Investigator Award was created by the Board of Directors to acknowledge the
work of outstanding young Sigma Xi members early in their research careers as well as the
ability to communicate its importance to the general public. The Award alternates between
the physical sciences and the life and social sciences. The award includes a certificate
of recognition and $5,000.
The Monie Ferst Award
This award, given by the Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter of Sigma Xi in the
name of the Society, is given to a scientist who has made a "notable contribution to
motivation and encouragement of research through education." The Chair of the
Committee on Awards and the senior Southeast Regional Director join the president and
several members of the Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter to select the recipient
The recipient of the 1998 Monie Ferst Award was Dr. Chenming Hu, Professor of
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Hu's research has focused on the theory of integrated circuit devices, and
especially on metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) device physics and engineering, for which he
has achieved world renown. Dr. Hu has received the Berkeley Distinguished teaching Award
and is known for his commitment to his students and for his ability to inspire them to
extend themselves beyond preconceived boundaries.
International Science and Engineering Fair
In May 1998, Sigma Xi renewed its participation in the International Science and
Engineering Fair, which was held this year in Fort Worth, Texas. Sigma Xi participated in
the "Special Awards" category at the Fair and awarded three prizes for the best
interdisciplinary team projects at the Fair. Each team received a cash prize, and each
team member received a certificate of recognition, and a one-year subscription to American
Scientist; the winners school library also received a one-year subscription to the
At the May 1998 Fair, the first prize winners of $900 were Fernando Basilio Avila and
Roberto Eduardo Morrison of de la Salle School in Talca, Chile. The second prize winners
of $600 were Heather Matthews and Twila Paterson of William J. Palmer High School in
Colorado Springs, Colorado. The third prize winners of $300 were Gwenivere Thomas and
Kimberly Buehring of Banquete High School in Banquete, Texas.
Judges for the Sigma Xi awards were from the TCU Chapter of Sigma Xi; Dr. Dick
Rinewalt, President of the TCU Chapter, served as Chair of the Sigma Xi judging team. The
Committee would like to express its gratitude to Dr. Rinewalt and all of the Sigma Xi
judges for their efforts in assisting the Society's participation in the 1998
International Science and Engineering Fair.
Sigma Xi Awards
Details for all Sigma Xi awards can be found on the Sigma Xi Web page
<http://www.sigmaxi.org/prizes&awards/prizes.htm> or from local Sigma Xi
Nominations for Sigma Xi awards are welcomed by the Committee on Awards and can be
forwarded to the Committee at the Society's headquarters. Dr. Evan Ferguson can be
contacted at the Society's headquarters for additional information about Sigma
Committee on Awards
As I conclude my term as Chair, and as a member, of this Committee, I would like to
thank the Board of Directors and particularly the Directors-at-Large with whom I have
worked on this Committee for their efforts in making the Committee's work so
enjoyable. On behalf of the Committee, I would also like to thank Dr. Evan Ferguson and
his staff for their help and guidance with the work of this Committee. It has been a great
pleasure to work with all of you. The members of the Committee on Awards for the year
ending June 30, 1998 were:
Millicent C. Goldschmidt, Chair, Committee on Awards
W. Franklin Gilmore
Lynn O. Lewis
Clifford N. Matthews
Virginia L. Trimble
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