31 January



Elizabeth A. Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society

As Chief Executive Officer of The Optical Society (OSA), I am pleased to sign the statement proposing a Universal Declaration of Humankind’s Rights to include future generations, which will support actions aimed at protecting the environment and our planet.  I would encourage other scientific societies to join OSA in this effort to ensure the rights of a sustainable, healthy planet.

 Elizabeth A. Rogan


The proposed declaration builds on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (DHR) adopted by the U.N. in 1948. OSA is signatory to that declaration along with many institutions around the world.

The proposed statement that I signed 30 January 2019 on behalf of OSA would expand the original declaration, thereby considering humanity’s impact on the environment and consequent actions to prevent or mitigate it.


As stated in the proposed declaration  “humanity and nature are in danger and that in particular the adverse effects of climate change, accelerated loss of biodiversity, degradation of land and ocean, are all violations of human rights and a vital threat to present and future generations.”


In signing the Universal Declaration of Humankind’s Rights, OSA remains committed to expanded and improved monitoring of the Earth and its environment through its International Photonics Advocacy Coalition (IPAC).


OSA’s policy supporting increased investment in environmental monitoring states:

“OSA encourages public and private sector investment in optics and photonics technologies that foster global efforts to enhance environmental monitoring and data collection to measure the impact and understand the causes of worldwide changes to the environment and climate. Advancing technologies that strengthen and support global environmental monitoring and sensing systems is critical for assessing the human impact on the environment and for providing accurate data necessary to reduce industrial and natural pollutants and biohazards that affect air, water, and land quality.”


Finally, I would like to thank OSA Fellow Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, who brought this important proposed statement to my attention. Dr. Melikechi, Professor of Physics and Dean at University of Massachusetts, Lowell, U.S.A., is an Ambassador of the Friends of Humankind Rights Association, which is conducting an international campaign on behalf of the Universal Declaration of Humankind Rights.