Dr. Donald H. Williams, professor of chemistry at Hope College, has received a national award for his ability to communicate with the public.
The American Nuclear Society presented Williams
its "Public Communications Award" for 1998 on Tuesday, June
9, during the society's National Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
He was recognized for his ability to explain complicated
issues in understandable terms as they relate to nuclear
power production and nuclear waste.
Williams has taught at Hope College for 29 years,
and chairs the state committee charged with examining ways
to handle the low-level-radioactive waste generated in
Michigan. He has consulted often for the U.S. Department of
Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management,
the office charged with the responsibility of isolating
high-level-radioactive waste. He has created a course at
Hope College on the environmental consequences of electrical
He has recently presented the topic of nuclear
waste issues as a keynote address for national education
groups such as the Elderhostel Institute. He conducts
workshops for teachers on these and related subjects nearly
"Nuclear waste will not disappear through
opposition to nuclear power," Williams said. "In fact, this
challenge can be best met by informed citizens working with
professionals in open dialogue with respect and attention to
Williams noted that he has appreciated being able
to serve as an impartial source for those wrestling with the
issues, legislators among them. "Being with a private
college has given me the objectivity sought by legislative
staff members who seek for a reality check, a situation that
I treasure," he said.
The national "Public Communications Award"
includes a cash prize and a plaque. In 1986, Williams won a
similar award from the Michigan Section of the American