Director's Corner

Release Date: January 12, 2018

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at a 1967 anti-war demonstration in New York City.

As a student at Morehouse College in 1947, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an essay titled “The Purpose of Education.” He said education must “train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking” and its function “is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”

These skills are put into practice every day at NETL as some of the world’s greatest scientific minds work to discover, develop and deploy solutions to our nation’s energy challenges. The Laboratory partners with colleges and universities nationwide to expand the body of knowledge on energy science and technology, and to help train the next generation of engineers, researchers and scientists. NETL also works to educate K-12 students and teachers through classroom visits, workshops and other outreach activities.

The great minds behind NETL’s impressive achievements include researchers of every race, gender, nationality, economic origin and educational background. NETL’s diversity is one of its strengths. Those varying perspectives and experiences allow our researchers and support staff to thoroughly explore all possibilities, answer every question and consider any alternatives as they work to expand fossil energy science and technology. “To think intensively and to think critically,” as Dr. King described, is essential to achieving our mission at NETL.

While our employees serve the public every day in their professional roles, Dr. King’s legacy of service reminds us of the importance of also serving others outside the office. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed this year on Jan. 15, is recognized as a national day of service. There are numerous volunteer needs in the vicinity of NETL’s sites across the country. I encourage everyone to make time Monday to honor Dr. King’s humanitarianism by doing something worthwhile to benefit our communities. If you’re not sure how to help, click here to find service opportunities. According to King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

As Acting Director of NETL, Sean I. Plasynski, Ph.D., builds on an extensive background in energy as he leads NETL in its mission to enhance the nation’s energy independence and protect the environment for future generations. For more information about Sean Plasynski's experience, please click here.