Meeting with our
members in different countries
has been one of
the most rewarding activities of my
and to OSA.”
his column marks the end of my term as 2010 President of The Optical Society.
Although I’ve been an OSA member for more than four decades, over the past year
I’ve gained a new appreciation for the Society, its staff and its dedicated members and volunteers who reside in more than 90 countries around the world. Despite some challenges,
2010 was a year of growth and achievement for OSA.
My term got off to an inauspicious start when the 2010 Winter Leadership Meeting
coincided with two back-to-back blizzards that left Washington, D.C., with the largest
snow accumulation in 200 years. Nevertheless, large numbers of our Board, committee and
council volunteers overcame the travel delays and cancellations and made it to the meeting
in person; many others participated electronically. Because of the snow, it took some of our
members three hours to go two miles to the Smithsonian Museum for the LaserFest gala
reception honoring our laser pioneers, but the black-tie event went off without a hitch, and
it was an inspirational celebration.
I’m happy to report that the remainder of my travels on behalf of OSA were uneventful. I greatly enjoyed the many visits I made to meetings, conferences, Student Chapters
and sister societies around the globe. Some of the highlights of the year were my trips
to China, India and Japan; South Korea, where I participated in the Optical Society of
Korea’s Annual Meeting and helped the OSK celebrate its 20th anniversary; Russia, where
I presented a plenary talk at IONS- 8 in Moscow and met with the officers of the Russian
Optical Society; Peru, where I enjoyed RIAO OPTILAS 2010 in Lima and visited the UNI
Student Chapter; and Brazil, where I participated in SPECKLE and LAOP. I was able to see
some of the sights in these countries, and I have great memories of climbing Machu Picchu
and cruising the Neva River in St. Petersburg.
Meeting with our Student Chapter members in different countries has been one of
the most rewarding activities of my presidency. These young scientists are hard-working,
dedicated, and committed to the profession and to OSA. I encourage you to get to know
the members of your local Student Chapter, or to start a Chapter if there is not one in your
area. You will be impressed by their energy and enthusiasm.
A highlight of the year was LaserFest, the world-wide celebration of the 50th anniversary
of the first demonstration of the laser. Thanks to the hard work of OSA volunteers, staff,
and our partner societies around the globe, LaserFest was an outstanding success.
Some of the other achievements of the past year include the launch of Advances in Optics
and Photonics, Spotlight on Optics, Biomedical Optics Express and Energy Express, continuation of our ISP publishing program, the redesign of the OSA, OPN, and OSAF websites,
the addition of a Senior Member category with more than 200 Senior Members elected
during the first year, and the launch of OpticsLatinAmerica.com, an online resource that
highlights optics communities and news throughout Latin America. This year, OSA hosted
11 new topical meetings, and still more topics will be added in 2011. OSA, under the leadership of 2011 President Chris Dainty, is in a great position to expand our current activities
and add some exciting new initiatives.
It’s been an honor and a pleasure to represent the Optical Society as your President.
Thank you for the opportunity.
James C. Wyant
4 | OPN Optics & Photonics News