FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Optical Society
Senator Jeff Bingaman Recognized as 2007 Optical Society of America Advocate of Optics
ASHINGTON, Feb. 8 – New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman is being recognized today by the Optical Society of America (OSA) as the organization’s 2007 Advocate of Optics. Sen. Bingaman was selected as this year’s advocate because of his extraordinary leadership in seeking to increase federal investments in the sciences, including the critical area of research and development (R&D). He is also being recognized for his work to advance energy efficiency through his continued support for energy-saving optical technologies like solid state lighting (SSL).
“Senator Jeff Bingaman has shown tremendous commitment to advancing important science policy initiatives in the past year and throughout his career as a public official,” said OSA Executive Director Elizabeth Rogan. “His support of scientific R&D funding and alternative energy legislation has had a positive impact on influencing energy policy designed to make the U.S. more energy independent.”
Sen. Bingaman was actively involved in OSA’s Senate Science and Technology (S&T) Caucus briefing last summer on solid state lighting innovations with optics. As chair of the S&T Caucus, Bingaman helped draw attention to the importance of optics and photonics – the science of light – by focusing on the energy benefits of solid state lighting. SSL is an optics technology used in highly efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs). As an alternative to incandescent and fluorescent lighting used in most homes and businesses, LEDs have the potential to reduce the nation’s electricity consumption by 10%, at a savings of approximately $30 billion per year. As more and more SSL advancements are made possible through federally funded research and development, the amount of energy and money the U.S. can save with LEDs will continue to rise.
To be recognized as an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.
OSA President Joseph Eberly will present Sen. Bingaman with a trophy today on Capitol Hill.
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A photo of Eberly presenting the award to Sen. Bingaman is available upon request.