Purpose of OSA

Vision

OSA is the leading forum for light science and technology.

Mission

OSA’s mission is to promote the generation, dissemination, and application of knowledge in optics and photonics. OSA serves the global community through content and events that are authoritative, accessible, and archived, and through its education, advocacy and outreach programs.

Since 1916, OSA has been the world’s leading champion for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders worldwide to foster and promote technical and professional development. Through publications, events and services, the Optical Society is helping to advance the science of light by addressing the ongoing need for shared knowledge and innovation.

OSA was founded 100 years ago as The Optical Society of America and has evolved into a global enterprise serving a worldwide constituency. In recognition of its global reach and focus, since 2008 the Society has been known as OSA - The Optical Society. 

OSA Core Values: i4

OSA’s values of innovation, integrity, inclusivity and impact (“i4”) underpin all of its activities, and a commitment to excellence and diversity are the hallmarks of its initiatives.

Core Values Expanded

Innovation
The process and products of scientific inquiry are central to the generation of knowledge in optics and photonics. Support from governments, industry, and academia are integral to ongoing discovery and innovation that moves society forward. The process of discovery and innovation must be free from political pressure or influence, and rely on proven and accepted scientific methods.
 
Integrity
Authoritative generation, application, archiving and dissemination of optics and photonics knowledge requires a rigorous quality standards process that is fundamental to the Society’s every action. Transparency in operations and internal governance is essential to maintaining the highest level of integrity and trust within our membership. Our commitment to excellence in content and methodology establishes The Optical Society as a trusted resource for scientific information worldwide.
 
Inclusivity
Modern scientific research increasingly depends on diverse collaboration for success. This interdisciplinary, global exchange of knowledge must be broadly inclusive, seeking contributions from all sources, based solely on excellence. The Optical Society is, by its nature, diverse. We are committed to it also being inclusive, and we strive to provide an atmosphere in which all people feel valued and respected and have access to the same opportunities. We are a professional community in service to the greater human community.
 
Impact
Science and technology contribute to the improvement of Society. Optical science plays an enabling role in both discovery and technology development. It is at the center of modern healthcare, transportation and communication, and sustains businesses through engineering solutions that benefit communities around the world. The Optical Society is an active advocate for science in general, and optics and photonics specifically. Our outreach efforts include working with governments worldwide to advocate for research and development funding, promoting and defending the integrity of science, increasing public engagement in science, and fostering participation in technical education.