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  • OSA, SPIE Lobby for Research Support
Mar 2004
WASHINGTON, March 19 -- Members of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) traveled to Washington, D.C., this month to ask Congress for increased and balanced federal investment in research and development, reiterating that federally funded research is critical to securing the nation's future.

ON THE HILL: OSA and SPIE members at Congressional Visits Days. From left to right, first row: Silvia Mioc (CO), Colleen Morrison (OSA staff), Theodore Saito (CA), David Rossi (CA), Leo Irakliotis (IL), Keri Then (CA); second row: Brendan Plapp (OSA/SPIE staff), Richard Linke (NJ) and James Harrington (NJ).
   They joined more than 200 scientists, engineers and business leaders who made visits on Capitol Hill as part of the ninth annual "Congressional Visits Days" (CVD), an event sponsored by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group.

The OSA/SPIE delegates discussed with lawmakers the importance of the nation's broad portfolio of investments in science, engineering and technology in promoting national security, prosperity and innovation, and provided a constituent perspective on the local and national impact of these programs and their significance to optics and photonics. The group also stressed the importance of the National Science Foundation's Math Science Partnership program and the growing ways the fields of optics and photonics can further the missions of the US government.

OSA said more than 50 percent of all industrial innovation and growth in the US since World War II can be attributed to advances pioneered through scientific research, with publicly funded R&D the foundation for today's scientific and technological progress.

Highlights of the two-day event included remarks by leading science administrators in the federal government, including Ray Orbach, director of the Office of Science in the Department of Energy, and Arden Bement, National Science Foundation interim director; briefings by congressional staff members; and a reception at the Rayburn House Office Building to award Reps. Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) the George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering, Technology Leadership Award. CVD participants had a breakfast meeting with Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) before visiting their senators and representatives.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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