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What if there were a vast, multi-focused research laboratory with a mission of creating and building the technologies, particularly energy, and environmental initiatives that will shape our future?
Imagine that this massive campus unites some of the brightest scientific minds of our age with a dazzling array of state-of-the-art research tools. Now imagine that this technological hub, known among other things as "the world's leading center for neutron science," is located in the rolling green foothills of East Tennessee, just a few miles down the road from old farmhouses, sun-dappled orchards, and the city of Knoxville.
It does sound a little like the premise for a science fiction novel. But since its early days, when Oak Ridge was popularly conceived as a location shrouded in mystery and suspense, the facility has undergone a major shift in focus, mission, and public access. The laboratory, managed in a 50-50 partnership by the University of Tennessee and Batelle, a private research and development corporation, has moved far beyond its history as a hub for national defense to become a leader in peacetime science and technology.
Oak Ridge's alliance with UT has helped create educational programs that benefit students of all ages, from elementary school children to doctoral candidates. These programs and shared resources extend to multiple disciplines, giving students in Knoxville, at the university, and across the country rare access to truly revolutionary research.
So imagine this: a team of students from UT and other universities completing a summer internship among the Oak Ridge research staff. These fledgling theorists and scientists will learn to see global challenges with curiosity and optimism, and will go on to make real a collective future that is way better than science fiction.