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Washington Updates



The OSA Public Policy staff is pleased to provide you with Washington Updates, where you will find up-to-date information on legislation, events, and other activities happening in Washington, D.C. that affect the optics and photonics community. We welcome your feedback on any of these issues. You can contact the OSA government relations team directly if you would like more information on a particular article.

Washington Updates - 2021

Launch of the OSA Global Health Initiative

If you missed the introduction of the OSA Global Health Initiative at the OSA Biophotonics Congress, you can watch the recorded 13 April webinar on the OSA Global Health Initiative webpage.

Posted: 1 June 2021

Advocacy Week Webinar Recordings

If you missed the Advocacy Week webinars, you can view recordings of them at the links below:

•    29 April Webinar Recording – Congressional Fellowship Q&A: A Unique Career and Learning Opportunity for PhD Scientists and Engineers

•    28 April Webinar Recording – Get Involved: Learn more about OSA’s public policy programs and how you can get involved

•    27 April Webinar Recording – Writing your Members of U.S. Congress: Tips for writing an effective letter

Posted: 1 June 2021

Current Opportunities to Write Your U.S. Members of Congress

OSA has provided draft emails that are editable for OSA members to write to their U.S. members of Congress about various topics of interest to the scientific community. The list of active letters is given below:

•    Encourage Members of Congress to Join the Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus

•    Encourage Congress to Support Strong Investments in Research and Development Funding for FY22

•    Support Bills to Mitigate the Impacts of the Pandemic on the S&T Research Enterprise

Posted: 1 June 2021

Support Increased Investments in NSF

OSA is partnering with the American Physical Society (APS) to gather support for the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act.

The NSF for the Future Act proposes significant increases in funding for NSF, make investments in STEM education and research training, and create a new Directorate for Science and Engineering Solutions. Learn more about the legislation.

Add your name to the sign on letter to show your support for the bill by 1 June 2021.

Posted: 27 May 2021

Advocacy Week: 26-30 April 2021: Virtual Capitol Hill Meetings, Webinars, Write Your Members of Congress, and More

The week of 26-30 April 2021 OSA will be holding a week of activities for OSA members in the United States to advocate for optics and photonics to policy makers and to learn about policy opportunities. During OSA Advocacy Week, listen to webinars that provide tips for communicating to members of Congress, learn about different opportunities provided by OSA for getting involved, and how OSA can help you with these activities. OSA will provide opportunities to write your members of Congress and to participate in Virtual Capitol Hill Meetings (separate signup required for the Virtual Capitol Hill Meetings). Advocacy Week participation has no fees.  Learn More.

Posted: 31 March 2021

New U.S. President Biden Issues Executive Orders

President Joe Biden issued more than 30 executive actions in his first two weeks in office, many of which concern the COVID-19 pandemic, and others regarding climate change, immigration, and equity. The actions most relevant to OSA’s global community are very briefly summarized below:

•    Reversed the earlier decision to exit the World Health Organization and reengage with it.
•    Reinstated some Covid-19 restrictions for “foreign nationals” traveling to the United States from the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa
•    Reentered the U.S. in the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.
•    Ended some immigration restrictions, including ending the ban on entry to the U.S. from some countries.

Posted: 26 January 2021

President Biden Nominates Lander for OSTP

U.S. President Biden announced several members of his science team including nominating Dr. Eric Lander for the role of Presidential Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Biden also announced his intent to make the role a Cabinet level position, which would be the first time the position has been elevated to Cabinet level. 

Posted: 20 January 2021

Join the Optics Legislative Network - OSA's grassroots email list. Sign up today.
Note: Non-OSA members can sign up for the OLN by emailing public-policy@osa.org.

Interested in combining your interest in policy with your science and technical background?

Apply for OSA's Congressional Fellowships for the opportunity to work on Capitol Hill for one year.