Finding a Voice for Photonics

Stewart Wills

International efforts to promote awareness—and funding—reflect different regional approaches and priorities.



For all of its vast economic importance—from the global Internet to the local supermarket scanner—photonics often stumbles in conveying its significance to policymakers and the public. Fragmented across sectors, companies and countries, the industry lacks a definable voice and community. The United Nations declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies thus offers a great, and badly needed, “teachable moment” for raising public awareness of photonics’ role in daily life worldwide.

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