OSA Members Emphasize Importance of Sustained U.S. Federal Investments in Science and Technology


Angela Stark
The Optical Society

OSA Members Emphasize Importance of Sustained U.S. Federal Investments in Science and Technology

Scientists and engineers meet with legislators on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013– Members of the Optical Society (OSA) from around the United States are on Capitol Hill today to speak with lawmakers about science policy issues, federal investments in research and development (R&D) and proposed funding levels in the upcoming FY 2013 appropriations bills.
The OSA members joined more than 250 scientists, engineers and graduate students as part of the annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD), sponsored by the Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group to raise visibility and support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives. CVD is held each year to educate legislators about the importance of R&D funding and the impact it has on the economy and innovation.
OSA’s participants are meeting with approximately 20 Capitol Hill offices in Washington, speaking with policy makers and their staffs to emphasize the importance of sustained federal investments in science and technology programs at agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the Department of Defense. Members shared personal anecdotes, current research projects, and drew attention to the relationship between federal R&D funding and job creation at their local institutions.
“From handheld displays to solar panels and ever-faster Internet connections, optics and photonics drives economic growth and improves lives,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “OSA members that participate in CVD help reinforce the important message to Congress that sustained R&D funding is vital to lay the foundation that our industry needs to innovate, produce and market the next generation of advanced technology products and services.”
“By engaging our lawmakers face-to-face and sharing our experiences in the field of optics and photonics, we are able to illustrate the impact of investing in science and technology,” said Adam Zysk of Diagnostic Photonics, OSA’s Public Policy Committee chair. “Specific examples of federally-funded scientific innovation, explained in terms that an average Hill staffer understands, are powerful tools for demonstrating our successes and relating our vision of the future.”

About OSA

Uniting more than 180,000 professionals from 175 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 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.