Connecting the Optics and Photonics Community – OSA’s Approach to Digital Conferences
By Naomi Chavez, Senior Director, Technical Program Development and Strategy, The Optical Society
#WeAreOSA is a new series of podcasts and blogs featuring inspirational stories and perspectives from scientists and engineers improving the world.
This article looks at how OSA connected the optics and photonics community when the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic disrupted conferences globally. Our meetings bring together the best minds at every stage of their careers. Traditionally hosted worldwide, from Tokyo to Sydney to Munich to Montreal, these events have always showcased the latest research, expanded personal networks and allowed for the discovery of technology and new corporate partners. The rapid emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns represented a considerable threat to our ability to continue to hold meetings, and an immediate solution was needed.
While the lockdowns prevented travel and in-person networking, they also had the surprising effect of uniting our community to unseen levels. People who typically were unable to attend an in-person conference could suddenly engage with a suite of online meetings untethered from geography or by paywalls. In this article, the technical developers who built OSA’s customized platforms and the pioneers who chaired our new digital conferences explain how OSA connected our community and ensured the ongoing dissemination of light science.
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Posted: 22 April 2021 by Naomi Chavez, Senior Director, Technical Program Development and Strategy, The Optical Society | with 0 comments
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