Excitement builds for ANS Virtual Annual Meeting

June 5, 2020, 2:55PMANS News

The 2020 ANS Virtual Annual Meeting promises to be a unique event in the history of the American Nuclear Society. The first all-virtual ANS meeting runs from June 8 to 11 and is being conducted via Zoom, a videoconferencing app that has gained widespread popularity since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1,700 registrants have already signed up, making for the largest ANS meeting in modern history. More than 90 sessions will be held, with over 200 papers to be presented. Meeting registration will be open through Wednesday, June 10.

Details: Health safety precautions implemented in response to the pandemic led to the cancellation of the in-person 2020 ANS Annual Meeting, which was to be held in Phoenix, Ariz. The move to a virtual platform, however, hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for the event.

“The majority of the feedback I have received has been very positive and has been about the amazing efforts of the ANS staff and the great system it created to support and host the virtual meeting,” said Brett Rampal, ANS member since 2008 and former chair of the ANS Young Members Group (YMG). “People have mostly wanted to know how it will all work and what opportunities there are for participation. The majority of members and nonmembers that I have spoken to are very excited about this new system and platform.”

Rampal, who is the nuclear team leader for the Clean Air Task Force, added that one of the biggest advantages to holding the meeting online is the elimination of any barrier to attendance based on cost or travel constraints. “With a low cost point and no need for travel, an online meeting allows ANS organizers to seek the best and most diverse speakers and attract a range of new and different attendees,” he said.

The attractions: As the keynote speaker, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette will be the highlight of the opening plenary session. Other highlights include the ANS President’s Special Session, which spotlights U.S. global leadership in nuclear energy and national security, and the General Chair’s Special Session, which focuses on the promise of advanced reactors.

Networking opportunities will also take place throughout the meeting. The Trivia Night events hosted by the YMG, the Student Sections Committee, and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee are sure to draw heavy interest. Participants will vie for fun prizes in the competitive sessions, which will be held at 6 p.m. (EDT) on June 8, and 7 p.m. (EDT) on June 9.

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