The ANS Student Conference is an annual event where hundreds of students within nuclear science and technology gather to present research, network, and participate in dozens of other activities relevant to the field. The 2018 ANS Student Conference will be held from April 5-7 of 2018 within the newly renovated J. Wayne Reitz Union located on the University of Florida’s Gainesville campus.
The theme of the 2018 Student Conference is “Nuclear Equality in Policy, Energy Access, & Within the Engineering Community”. In addition to several technical activities and presentation of research, attendees will also have the unique opportunity of participating in a variety of workshops, panels, and special events that center around equality in energy policy, equal energy access, and being a successful engineer in an increasingly diverse nuclear community.
In order to remain competitive, we must shape public perception and policy makers to realize the benefits of large scale, on demand, and carbon free energy for the United States. Assurance of a secure energy system in place in the coming decades relies on the next generation of scientists and engineers to be vocal advocates for nuclear energy. A fair and balanced policy towards nuclear science and technology will help ensure a future of carbon free, baseload energy.
A cursory look through world history shows that the largest changes in standard of living came at times when humans were able efficiently generate electricity better than previous. Never before has that been more true than today. The extreme difference in lifestyles between citizens worldwide comes primarily from a population’s ability to generate electricity effectively. For many countries, this is the largest barrier to transforming from an agrarian to industrial society.
While there is a vast number of issues relating to nuclear energy that require special attention, it is important to keep our field accepting of all religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. While it may seem obvious for many, we need to be mindful and reiterate such goals. Collaborative venues such as science and engineering achieve the best results when everyone has an equal voice. Current and future leaders will be required to work and build ideas within a diverse community of scientists and engineers.