After about half a year of monthly meetings, a joint task force has presented its report to the boards of the Optical Society of America and SPIE regarding a possible merger. The report's 12 recommendations aim to preserve the cultures of the individual societies while merging structures and finances. Continued exploration of merger possibilities was pending decisions from the boards of the two optical societies. OSA's board gave its go-ahead at a meeting Oct. 9 in Baltimore. SPIE's board planned to make its decision Oct. 22 in Stockholm, Sweden. Unless SPIE's board members nix the idea altogether, further cooperation plans will continue, with both societies studying legal and financial matters further. If everything goes as planned, ballots will be sent out to society members around May 1999, and votes will be tallied by October.