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Environmentalist Gwyneth Cravens to Receive National Award of Nuclear Science & History

February 05, 2015

Gwyneth Cravens, environmentalist and author of Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy, has been named the recipient of the 2015 National Award of Nuclear Science & History – an award presented annually by the National Atomic Museum Foundation to a prominent person or entity who has had an impact on nuclear issues. The award will be presented at the 18th Annual Einstein Gala, New Mexico’s biggest science party of the year, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel.

Gwyneth Cravens  - receiving the award that celebrates the wide scope of achievement and commitment to furthering scientific endeavors made by individuals in areas of leadership, technology, government, energy and education - has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s Magazine and Discover, and she appeared as one of the environmental thinkers of “CNN Films: Pandora’s Promise.”

“It is a great honor to award such a deserving individual as Gwyneth Cravens with the prestigious National Award of Nuclear Science & History,” said Jim Walther, Museum Director. “As a groundbreaking author and notable environmental advocate, Ms. Cravens has deeply explored the prevailing myths in media - separating those myths from the reality of science in nuclear power, waste and energy – while confronting the need for nuclear power generation to be reconsidered as a major component to solutions in global climate change.”

Cravens, a self-declared native New Mexican who moved from Wyoming to Albuquerque when she was a very young girl, grew up surrounded by stories of the Cold War, nuclear weapons and the deep fear of anything related to nuclear science; a fear that prompted her to march in ban-the-bomb rallies while attending grad school in New York and take an anti-nuclear stance on most issues. In 1998, during a dinner with family friends from New Mexico, Cravens began a dialogue regarding how terrible nuclear energy was with Dr. D. Richard “Rip” Anderson, a scientist from Sandia National Laboratories.

“He (Dr. Anderson) didn’t argue, but instead made a few remarks that awakened my curiosity,” said Cravens. “That dialogue lead to my discovery that I knew little about the topic of nuclear energy despite my fears.”

After deciding to see how nuclear power worked for herself, Cravens visited the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) located in Carlsbad, NM, which then led to “the Nuclear America Tour” with Dr. Anderson and his wife. It was through this tour Cravens said she started to see that nuclear power was cleaner and safer than any other large-scale energy source.

“Scientists from many disciplines are now convinced that carbon dioxide emitted from human activities like burning fossil fuels is rapidly acidifying and heating the ocean, killing off sea-life and land species, melting polar and glacial ice, and in general raising the temperature of the planet enough to cause climate change,” said Cravens. “My years of research and interviews with many scientists and engineers have convinced me that nuclear power is the cleanest and safest large-scale alternative to fossil fuels when it comes to supplying steady, reliable, 24-7 energy.”

Cravens will receive the National Award of Nuclear Science & History during the 18th Annual Einstein Gala on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Proceeds from the Einstein Gala fundraising event will help support the Museum’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educational programs for K-12 students as well as professional development workshops for science and math teachers.

The Einstein Gala, a black-tie event, is the Museum’s largest fundraising event of the year that will introduce intricate science experiments performed by Museum junior volunteers, a unique silent auction, dinner among some of the most brilliant minds in science, local entertainment throughout the evening as well as honoring Cravens with the 18th National Award of Nuclear Science & History.

FLOUR, Nuclear Matters and URENCO, USA are sponsors of the 18th Annual Einstein Gala.

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased on the Museum’s website at nuclearmuseum.org through March 9. Table sponsorships are also available. For information, contact Charles Lowery, Director of Development, at 505-245-2137, extension 110.

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