Friday, October 10, 2008

A New Sigma

My friend Tom Ligon has just been inducted into the Sigma Society. Here is what Sigma does:
Many SIGMA members are Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers; all are science fiction writers who have spent careers applying their technical and literary talents in exploring the future of science, technology, society and cultures. SIGMA provides a significant pool of talent for volunteer pro bono consultation with the Federal government and other organizations which need the imagination that only speculative writers can provide.

SIGMA members have each committed to consult with Federal authorities for taskings on vital national issues for several days, for travel and lodging expenses only. For extended effort or research, compensation may be based on individual contracts, as appropriate. Current Federal employees may be available on detailee status.

All SIGMA activities are strictly voluntary, and any member can decline any proposed tasking or meeting for any reason, with no further explanation.
Tom was instrumental in starting the fusor movement (home made experimental fusion reactors) due to the encouragement of Dr. Robert Bussard. He also worked with Dr. Bussard on the Polywell Fusion power reactor (no net power though at the size of current experiments). You can read about that effort at: World's Simplest Fusion Reactor Revisited. There are links on the sidebar to the Fusor Consortium and lots of other good stuff.

You can also read a science fiction story Tom wrote on fusion which had its world premiere here in July of 2007. Getting Tuned Up.

Congrats Tom! And with any kind of luck you can help us to deserve the best future we can get, because if we don't deserve it the getting will be much harder.


Unknown said...

Any word on when we'll be hearing from Santa Fe? Does anyone know how long does a Navy review typically lasts?

M. Simon said...

No news.

No idea when we will get news.

Roj said...

Tom has a PhD? COol beans !

Roj said...

Tom has PhD? I had no idea ! !

Momma Bear said...

Congrats to him!! What a lovely honor from his peers!

Anonymous said...

Tom does not have a PhD.

Momma Bear said...

Some folks.. never had the TIME to formally go through the process of being granted a Phd. Doesn't lessen their mark on the world at all. In fact.. I think.. in some cases.. it enhances their contribution to science. It's the educated mind.. that RECONIZES a man.. for WHAT he knows.. not that he made it through today's college system.

Anonymous said...

Momma -- like it or not, the vast majority of breakthroughs and discoveries in science have come from those with advanced degrees. I challenge you to name anyone who has produced a recent significant scientific discovery that has not already had, or is about to complete, a PhD.

If you either couldn't, or didn't want to go to college, let alone earn a PhD, that was your choice. People like you typically claim an education from either "the school of hard knocks" or "the REAL world." Claims such as that only demonstrate a deeply seeded resentment and jealousy towards those college-educated people that you perceive as being inferior to yourself. If that makes you feel good about yourself, have at it.

Good luck finding meaningful employment in the 21st century without some kind of degree. That's the simple truth.