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Welcome to Optica!

Constance Chang-Hasnain

This month I have the pleasure of welcoming you to Optica, the new name for our society.

This month I have the pleasure of welcoming you to Optica, the new name for our society.

Since January, I have frequently communicated with you in this space—but never with as much excitement and anticipation as I do now. This month I have the pleasure of welcoming you to Optica, the new name for our society. It is a name that embodies the organization’s vision for the future and its commitment to quality, inclusivity and worldwide scope.

For many decades our organization—founded in 1916 as the Optical Society of America—has in reality been an international one, tasked with supporting our community from all countries. Today, a large fraction of our members live outside of North America and contribute to the vibrancy of optics and photonics as a world-spanning enterprise. Moreover, ordinary citizens in every country are becoming increasingly familiar with the fruits of those contributions, such as LED lighting, solar panels and fiber-to-the-home.

The name Optica—short, modern, geographically neutral—embraces this reality. As Christiaan Huygens, eminent pioneer in optics and physics, said, “the world is my country.” I’m delighted about the new name, Optica, in which our vision shines: Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide.

As Optica, our society will continue and extend its long-standing efforts to serve and connect our community. One development I am particularly proud of is the Executive Council’s recent decision to waive virtual and in-person meeting registration fees for members from World Bank–defined low-income and lower-middle-income countries starting in 2022. This is an example of our role as an inclusively global organization, looking beyond national boundaries.

Finally, to me, Optica is above all about empowering the discovery and innovation of the people who work in our field. A few of them can be found in the article beginning on p. 32, which profiles 12 entrepreneurs improving the world of tomorrow. Others appear on the cover of this issue, which features portraits taken from a remarkable campaign, Faces of Optica (optica.org/faces). I encourage you to visit our curated portrait gallery and learn more about some of the unique individuals that together make up our diverse and global community.

As many will note, the society already publishes a journal under the name Optica—a journal whose title has become synonymous with the publication of high-impact research. Extending that name to the organization at large exemplifies our society’s broader commitment to quality and innovation.

I’m delighted about our new name and look, and I look forward to engaging with you in the coming months to learn about your reaction to it. Our new name celebrates our rich heritage, which has enabled the organization’s evolution into the global society it is today—and which provides a solid foundation for championing optics and photonics in the years to come.

Welcome to Optica!

Constance Chang-Hasnain,
OSA President

Publish Date: 01 October 2021


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