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OSA Changes Name to Optica

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The professional society in optics and photonics formerly known as The Optical Society (OSA) has changed its name to Optica, the society advancing optics and photonics worldwide. The global organization, which was founded in 1916, announced the change Monday morning, Sept. 20.

“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 CEO Elizabeth Rogan said.

“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.”

In a press release, Optica said that while the generation, detection, direction, and modulation of light remains at the core of optics, the field has expanded in the 105-year history of the organization to include light-enabled technologies ranging from modern communications, imaging, and sensing — or 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,” Optica said in the release.

“In concert with the field’s rapid development, the scope and reach of our organization has expanded at an ever-quickening pace,” Optica President Connie Chang-Hasnain told Photonics Media. “Our worldwide customer growth inspired leadership to carefully consider whether our long-standing name effectively reflected who we had become. After extensive consultation with the community, where we searched for an identity that signifies the vibrant, global organization we are today, Optica emerged as the best representation of the society.”

The society began as a regional organization based in Rochester, N.Y., and it primarily supported member groups and companies working on technologies such as lens design and photography. Optica currently engages with 432,000 people who are in 93% of the world’s countries.

In addition to increased globalization and worldwide visibility, the new brand will reflect advancements that the society, its members, and its customers have celebrated to the technologies that make up the field of optics and photonics.

“Our members play a vital role in moving technology forward. We explore and leverage light’s power in areas such as quantum technology to laser propulsion to 5G optical communications, smart cars, consumer electronics, health care, and intelligent IoT,” Chang-Hasnain told Photonics Media.

“As a champion of the field, our organization’s name must reflect the work being undertaken and the people performing the work,” Chang-Hasnain said.

In conjunction with the launch of Optica, the society made its “Faces of Optica” campaign publicly available to be viewed online. The nearly 70 portraits of individuals from nine cities on three continents were captured by portrait photographer Sam Barker over the last three months, Optica said, in advance of the launch.

“We represent a broad spectrum of individuals striving to solve societal challenges through light science and technology,” Chang-Hasnain said. “The stories and images in the ‘Faces of Optica’ campaign provide an extraordinary illustration of who we are and the strength and innovation that emerges from our diversity.

“Visually, you can see the rich diversity of career stages, geographies, and ethnicities from a single glance at this collection of beautiful images. Whoever you are, and wherever you live, Optica is the home for anyone and everyone in the optics and photonics community.”

Nov/Dec 2021
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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