OSA Renamed to Optica, the Society Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide

Posted  by GoPhotonics

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OSA, a company dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in optics and photonics worldwide marks a historic day by changing its name to Optica, the society advancing optics and photonics worldwide. Its new name reinforces society’s position as the leading forum for advancing light science and technology. It also reflects its diverse global community.

Optica was founded in 1916 to promote the generation, dissemination and application of knowledge in optics or light science. Since that time, both the discipline and the Society have grown. While the generation, detection, direction and modulation of light remains at the core of optics, the field has expanded to include light-enabled technologies ranging from modern communications, imaging and sensing – or put another way, photonics.  With its new name, the society is well-positioned to further advance optics and photonics to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.    

Started as a regional organization in the United States, Optica now encompasses a community that is 432,000+ large, representing 93% of the world’s countries. Optica President Connie Chang-Hasnain said: “When the organization began more than 100 years ago, it was primarily focused on supporting a small group of members and companies in America who were working on technologies like lens design and photography. Today the optics and photonics industry has grown exponentially. The field has evolved and now includes metamaterials, ultrafast laser science, quantum technology, 5G networks, and many other technologies. As a champion of the field, our organization’s name must reflect the work being undertaken and the people performing the work. Now is the time for our name to change to one that honours our legacy, is true to our present and embraces our future.”

Elizabeth Rogan, Optica’s CEO, said: “Our new name was developed in collaboration and consultation with our community. We knew it was critical to choose a name representing who we have become and possessing a strong strategic fit for our next chapter. Optica works on so many levels – it’s already a well-known name due to our highly-regarded journal, it’s geographically neutral, and it translates well in many languages.”

Satoshi Kawata, Optica’s 2022 President, agrees the new name is the right one: “Our new brand signals who we have become and propels us toward where we are going. It enables us to deliver on our goals including upholding excellence, empowering discovery and innovation, connecting our community, and advocating for those in our field.”  

As the organization embraces its new brand, it will be introducing new programs and services. For example, starting in 2022, Optica members who reside in emerging market countries will be able to participate in the society’s in-person and virtual meetings for free. Offering waived registration removes significant financial barriers for these members and ensures learning, connecting, and sharing is accessible to everyone.

In conjunction with the launch of Optica, a visual celebration of the extraordinary diversity of its global community was created.  This collection, called Faces of Optica, includes close to seventy portraits of people from nine cities in Asia, Europe, and the USA captured over the last three months by renowned portrait photographer Sam Barker.