A new professional association for LDS mathematical and physical scientists, named after one of the most distinguished scholar-scientists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been organized at Brigham Young University.

The James E. Talmage Society, sponsored by the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, is open to professional scientists and students in any of the areas covered by the college: chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics and astronomy and statistics, according to Randall B. Shirts, a BYU chemistry professor and the society's founder.For information and a copy of the organization's first newsletter, contact the James. E. Talmage Society, the Latter-day Saint Association of Mathematical and Physical Scientists, 1147 TMCB, BYU, Provo, UT 84602, phone 378-4290.

"Our goal is to develop a sense of community among LDS scientists," said Shirts. "This includes publicizing awards by LDS scientists, answering questions and publishing essays on issues important to LDS scientists and highlighting important research being done by LDS scientists, both at BYU and elsewhere."

The association will distribute a newsletter featuring LDS scientists and their research, highlighting activities of the college and discussing issues important to LDS scientists in editorials and short articles.

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In addition, when LDS scientists attend scientific meetings, present research seminars or visit other institutions, the association will provide an opportunity for them to meet other Talmage Society members.

Membership in the association is free to anyone meeting the criteria and publication costs are being underwritten by the college, but tax-deductible contributions from professional members will be welcomed, he said.

Elder Talmage is often best remembered as a member of the Council of the Twelve and the author of "Jesus the Christ" and "The Articles of Faith."

"However, many LDS scientists are unaware of his scientific accomplishments, such as being elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh," noted Shirts. "He stands as an example to us of how intellectual excellence and faith can reinforce each other."

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