The mission of ANS is to advance nuclear science and technology for the benefit of humanity. It is something we pursue every day through our meetings, our online events, our publications, and our member-driven professional development programs. However, while a robust technical dialogue and professional community are certainly cornerstones of nuclear advancement, ensuring that said advancement inures to the “benefit of humanity” also requires a certain level of public acceptance, or “social license,” something our chosen technology has not consistently enjoyed over time.
The nuclear community has approached the task of strengthening public acceptance as a classic “knowledge deficit” exercise. We know from polling that people’s support for nuclear technology generally increases with their level of knowledge. Ergo, if we simply give people enough unbiased technical information, they will develop rational, fact-based opinions, and good things will happen for nuclear.