FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Optical Society
OSA Members Visit Legislators to Advocate for Sustained Federal Funding for Science and Technology
WASHINGTON, May 5 – Today, members of the Optical Society (OSA), along with members from IEEE-USA, APS and OIDA, came together from around the United States for Capitol Hill Day 2011 to speak with their senators and representatives about sustained federal funding for science and technology in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. The Capitol Hill Day event is being held in conjunction with CLEO: 2011 to remind legislators of the critical nature of research and development (R&D) funding and the impact that decreases in funding have on America’s ability to make important science and technology (S&T) advances.
The 25 participants will visit more than 70 offices throughout the day, asking for legislators to support level and consistent funding in FY 2012 for U.S. federal science agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Members will be sharing the message that research being done at these agencies is vital to the innovation and production of the next generation of advanced technology products and services. Participants will remind legislators that scientific and engineering research is crucial for job creation and the long-term health of the country’s economy with the optical industry in particular being a leading source of high-quality manufacturing jobs for the U.S. in the future.
"Now more than ever it is critical for legislators to be reminded of the value and importance of federally funded research," said Greg Quarles, Capitol Hill Day participant and OSA Public Policy committee chair. "By visiting with our legislators, we are able to put a face to the science and explain on a deeper level just how important it is for sustained science funding."
By sharing personal stories of their experiences as professionals in the field of optics and photonics and by pointing out specific optics-related advances that have been discovered and developed as a result of federal funding, the participants hope to show the lawmakers that increased funding is an investment in America’s future. Advancements like the Internet, energy efficient lighting and the laser were all made possible by federal research funds.
Uniting more than 106,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (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 biness 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.
With a distinguished history as the industry's leading event on laser science, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) and the Quantum Electronics Laser Science Conference (QELS) is where laser technology was first introduced. CLEO: 2011 will unite the field of lasers and electro-optics by bringing together all aspects of laser technology, with content stemming from basic research to industry application. Sponsored by the American Physical Society's (APS) Laser Science Division, the Institute of Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society and the Optical Society (OSA), CLEO: 2011 provides the full range of critical developments in the field, showcasing the most significant milestones from laboratory to marketplace. With an unparalleled breadth and depth of coverage, CLEO: 2011 connects all of the critical vertical markets in lasers and electro-optics. For more information, visit the conference's website at www.cleoconference.org.