Optical Society of America Partners with American Institute of Physics to Bring Optics and Photonics


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Optical Society of America Partners with American Institute of Physics to Bring Optics and Photonics Stories to Television News

WASHINGTON, June 18 — The Optical Society of America (OSA) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) are partnering to develop television news segments on the latest advances in optics and photonics. This program, called Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science (DBIS), is designed to help raise awareness of the role basic science plays in technological advances that impact everyday life. Geared toward members of the general public, these segments run on local TV stations nationwide.

"Creative approaches in packaging and delivering science news has helped improved the image and interest in science. DBIS is a well tested product that serves many different markets and communities,"  said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA's executive director. "TV programming allows us to demonstrate the wonders and importance of optics in a visually compelling way.”

Research has shown that adults in the U.S. gain much of their science knowledge from television. In fact, a 2006 National Science Foundation report concluded that 41 percent of the general population cite television as their leading source of science and technology information.

The DBIS program is designed to address this audience. Run like a television news room, the DBIS team monitors the latest optics and photonics research, looking for innovations that are close to application. When a story idea arises, the team works directly with lead researchers to schedule on-camera interviews and video shoots. The final news package is distributed via satellite to more than 60 subscribing television stations nationwide. After the station has the segment, it chooses to air it on its local nightly newscast as slots are available. 

Examples of recently aired segments featuring optics technology include a story on a bioreactor that cleans up carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel exhaust with the help of hybrid solar lighting and a segment on the development of a new elastic light-sensitive material that could be used to capture data-rich fingerprints in multiple colors.

Content from the program also will be used for the Society's educational outreach. Segments are posted on the OSA Web site and OSA members are encouraged to request CD or DVD copies of the developed pieces for their outreach efforts. Segments are available at no cost to OSA members.

For more information on the program or to view recently aired segments, visit the OSA DBIS site.

About OSA

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.