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As fossil fuels continue to cook the planet, the world is finally becoming forced to confront the influence of large oil companies and tactics that have enriched a small group of corporations and individuals for generations. Beneath our feet, Uranium atoms in the Earth’s crust hold incredibly concentrated energy- science unlocked this energy in the mid-20th century, first for bombs and then to power submarines and the United States led the effort to generate electricity from this new source. Yet in the mid 20th century as societies began the transition to nuclear power and away from fossil fuels, a long-term PR campaign to scare the public began, funded in part by coal and oil interests. This campaign would sow fear about harmless low-level radiation and create confusion between nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
With unprecedented access to the nuclear industry in France, Russia, and the United States, iconic director Oliver Stone explores the possibility for the global community to overcome challenges like climate change and reach a brighter future through the power of nuclear energy- an option that may become a vital way to ensure our continued survival sooner than we think.
On December 15, 2022, Grace Stanke, representing her home state of Wisconsin, was crowned Miss America 2023, and awarded $50,000 in scholarship. This was the third time Miss Wisconsin has been crowned Miss America in the history of the Organization.
During the competition, Stanke won the talent portion, performing a piece from “Vivaldi’s Summer/Four Seasons – Storm” on her electric violin.
Stanke, a nuclear engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has earned more than $68,000 in scholarship assistance through her state and Miss America competitions. During her year as Miss America, Grace is traveling the country using her national platform to advocate for “Clean Energy – Cleaner Future.” Encouraging worldwide change for clean, zero-carbon emission energy sources, Stanke emphasizes the benefits of nuclear power and seeks to dispel the myths around nuclear energy while inspiring the next generation of female scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.
“In addition to helping change public perception of nuclear energy and technology, I hope to inspire youth, especially young girls, to explore STEM and to see that going into these fields, including nuclear engineering, is an option for them.”
Paul Wilson is the Grainger Professor of Nuclear Engineering and current department chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics. His research uses computer models to improve the designs of complex nuclear energy systems and to shed light on important policy aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including nuclear waste management and non-proliferation.
Dominique Brossard is a professor and current chair in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the intersection between science, media and policy with the Science, Media and the Public (SCIMEP) research group, which she co-directs. Brossard is an internationally known expert in public opinion dynamics related to controversial scientific issues.