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Breaking Barriers, Advancing Optics: The Interviews

“Breaking Barriers, Advancing Optics,” a feature in the May 2023 Optics & Photonics News, profiled six Black scientists in the United States, their pathbreaking work in optics, photonics and related areas, and their perspectives on progress and challenges for underrepresented groups in science. In this special accompanying online “Conversations” series, we offer edited versions of the interviews behind those profiles.


  • Conversations

    A Talk with Arlene Maclin

    A 2018 Optica Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy Recognition winner talks about receiving intense mentorship and taking integrated-circuit technology to the next level. [17 April 2023]
  • Conversations

    A Talk with William Wilson

    Wilson’s wide-ranging interests and love of gadgets have led him to cover a lot of ground, from spectroscopy to holographic data storage to facility management. [13 April 2023]
  • Conversations

    A Talk with Anthony Johnson

    Early mentors had a lasting impact on this scientist, who has learned to balance research and diversity activities throughout his remarkable career. [10 April 2023]
  • Conversations

    A Talk with Donnell Walton

    From a research lab in a small town to a customer-facing technical position in Silicon Valley, a scientist’s interest in physics has led him to unexpected places. [06 April 2023]
  • Conversations

    A Talk with Herbert Winful

    Amid a lifetime of research accomplishment at a world-class university, a scientist believes that a key to thriving is to genuinely love one’s students. [03 April 2023]
  • Conversations

    A Talk with Peter Delfyett

    A pioneer in using semiconductor lasers for communications, signal processing, materials processing and other applications was captivated by science at an early age. [30 March 2023]

Publish Date: 01 May 2023

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