Mines professor, PhD student advocate for nuclear science

Colorado School of Mines Assistant Professor of Physics Kyle Leach and Physics PhD student Connor Natzke were among nearly 100 nuclear physicists advocating for federal nuclear science research funding in Washington, D.C., on April 9.

As a part of 2018 Nuclear Physics Day, Leach and Natzke met with Senate and Congressional offices representing Colorado and Montana, including the staffs of Colorado Representatives Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, and Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet. This was Leach’s third year advocating for nuclear science in D.C.

“This year in particular, I was surprised with the high level of science discussions we were able to achieve with each of the offices,” Leach said. “Over the years, I have noticed that the bipartisan support demonstrated for the funding of basic nuclear science has increased dramatically, leading to a general understanding of the value of our work at Mines.”

The goals of Nuclear Physics Day were to support modest growth funding for the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Physics Program consistent with the recommendations of the 2015 DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee Long Range Plan and to support continued increases for the National Science Foundation to realize cutting-edge opportunities and support facilities and single investigators.

“U.S. investments in nuclear science have produced extraordinary discoveries and dramatic technical advances that have fueled the nation’s economy and produced the world’s most highly skilled, tech-savvy workforce,” Leach said. “DOE nuclear physics funding drives technical innovation in fields far removed from the original research, including modern medical imaging, drug design, cancer treatments, energy production and climate modeling. Additionally, if the past can be used as a guide, the isotopes, data and technologies nuclear science will generate in the coming years will provide substantial new benefits to society.”

Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 | jdelnero@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu