We couldn’t have done it without you. We could not have put together this issue without a lot of help from our readers. Whether you answered the Employment Satisfaction and Salary Survey, participated in Q&A sessions on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, or are simply reading the issue now, we thank you. Photonics Spectra has a growing social media presence, and we captured your answers to questions such as “What game-changing photonics technology will emerge in the next five years?” on Facebook, Twitter and Photonics.com. Responses begin on page 45. The SPIE Group on LinkedIn proved fertile ground for answers to the question, “Think back to when you decided to pursue photonics as a career. Can you identify a single technology or concept that got you hooked?” Answers also came from other social media. Find the comments beginning on page 42. Read the results of the Employment Satisfaction and Salary Survey beginning on page 40. The last time we ran a similar survey in Photonics Spectra was in January 2009. The reported data was gathered late in 2008, when the economies of the US and of other countries around the world had slipped or were slipping into a recession precipitated in part by dramatic investment bank failures – and followed quickly by hefty unemployment numbers and mortgage foreclosures. In January 2008, Kiplinger was optimistic that, although the situation looked precarious, things still could be done to save it. In February 2009, the US Treasury Department reported a 3.8 percent decrease in US GDP in fourth-quarter 2008, 1.5 million jobs lost between September and December 2008 and a 45 percent decrease in housing starts in the same year, according to US News and World Report. From the survey, it came as no surprise that when you name the qualities that would make your job better, “more money” leads the way, just as it did in 2008, but what comes second or third? Is it more authority? Or maybe better benefits? Find out on page 41. That brings us pretty much full circle, back to social media and the Photonics Media page on Facebook, where you can leave your comments to new postings several times each week. Prism Awards There is still time to submit your entry for the 2011 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, the global competition sponsored by Photonics Media and SPIE. The awards were developed to recognize innovative scientific products, processes, software, devices, materials, systems, instruments and technologies that are newly available on the open market. Nominations will be accepted in 10 categories and judged by a distinguished panel of experts. The submission deadline is Sept. 16, 2011. Winners will be announced at a gala awards banquet held during SPIE Photonics West this January in San Francisco. Complete details and the nomination form can be found at www.photonicsprismaward.com. Be sure to check out finalist videos from the 2010 Prism Awards at www.Photonics.com/VideoGallery. I hope you enjoy the issue.