By Eric Loewen
As we gather to discuss innovations and the next steps forward in nuclear development, I am taking advantage of our new ANS blog site to talk about some communications initiatives undertaken by the Society. As nuclear professionals, we have an obligation to share our technical understanding and scientific perspective with policymakers, educators, students, and the public–and we also need to be sure that we are communicating effectively with each other so that we can speak to today’s energy issues with a unified voice.
As Vice-President/President-Elect of ANS, I have had the privilege of representing our Society on several different stages, including:
- Delivering remarks at the Alpha Nu Sigma Honor Society Induction Ceremony for Excelsior College, in Albany, N.Y.
- Speaking about leveraging other organizations at the Women in Nuclear Meeting in Seattle, Wash.
- Sharing information about mutual goals with the French Local Section of the ANS.
- Presenting at the Light Water Reactor Meeting in Orlando, Fla.
- Providing a legislative update on Small Modular Reactors, FedCorp, recycling, and the Blue Ribbon Commission to the Wilmington (N.C.) ANS Local Section.
- Delivering an analysis of domestic nuclear development at the 2nd Annual Nuclear Construction Summit.
The above list includes hyperlinks to my remarks and presentations, which are available online at the ans.org Web site on the Elected Officers page. I am sharing my remarks with ANS members because I hope to hear your perspectives on these issues. This exchange of information and knowledge is one of the tremendous values that a professional membership society provides. So, let’s take advantage of the opportunity afforded by our new ANS Nuclear Cafe!
The Society will be surveying ANS members in January 2011 to learn more about about the communications tools that you are using and how you prefer to receive information and updates from ANS. Consider the range of applications that people use to communicate every day: Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, blogs (hello!), chats, Smartphones using all of the above, snail mail, and probably a few more that have been deployed since you started reading this post.
Maybe you prefer Nuclear Advocacy Alerts via text message, but want to receive meeting updates by e-mail. The 2011 Communications Survey will be your chance to let the Society know your preferences for receiving information– so watch for the survey announcement.
iPad Application: Radiation Dose Chart
Take a break during this Winter Meeting and stop by the Public Information Table to check out the Interactive Radiation Dose Chart application that was recently developed by ANS for the iPad (the link is to the online version featured at the ans.org Web site, which differs in appearance, but has the same content). The Interactive Radiation Dose Chart application made its debut at the USA Science & Engineering Festival and was a brilliant success, especially among elementary and middle school students. Everyone wanted to play with the iPad, even if they weren’t certain what they wanted to know about radiation!
Funding for the iPad application was provided by ANS’s Operations & Power Professional Division (OPD). Many thanks to the OPD and to Donald Eggett, OPD chair, for recognizing the outreach value of the application and acting promptly to secure OPD Executive Committee approval for the support. After a few minor modifications are made, the application is expected to be certified by Apple and made available for download in the App Store.
A core mission of ANS is to reach out in new and innovative ways to the engineers and scientists of the next generation. We need to communicate our information in any way that works–from our science teacher workshops to the growing world of electronic media. We cannot lose sight of that responsibility and our duty to improve continuously in our outreach efforts.
As you walk around the conference area, look for QR codes on signs advertising the ANS Nuclear Cafe and the #ANS10 twitter hashtag. A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and Smartphones. You can download free QR code reader applications on a variety of Smartphone platforms, including Android, Blackberry, and iPhone. Open the application, scan the QR code (using your camera in most instances), and the QR reader application will automatically take you to either the front page of the ANS Nuclear Cafe or to the #ANS10 twitter hashtag without you having to type in the web address. It’s an electronic shortcut, and I hope you find it useful.
Thanks to the teams from Nuclear News magazine and the Outreach and IT departments at ANS headquarters for integrating their expertise to find better ways to communicate our message across the growing media spectrum.
Eric Loewen, PhD, is chief consulting engineer, Advanced Plants Technology, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, in Wilmington, NC. Loewen was the ANS 2005 Congressional Fellow, where he worked in the office of Sen. Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.) and coordinated the Senator’s inclusion of America’s first legislation addressing global climate change policy into the Energy Act of 2005. Loewen is Vice President/President Elect of the American Nuclear Society and has been an ANS member since 1988. In November 2009, Esquire profiled Loewen as The Man Who Could End Global Warming.