staff at OSA,
none of the key
functions of the
he field of optics has never been more exciting or vital, and I am delighted to
serve as your OSA president this year. As this issue highlights, the breadth of
optics ranges from the most fundamental aspects of physics to an ever-expanding role in the
life sciences. For example, Ulf Leonhardt describes how playing tricks with light may soon
enable cloaking to become a reality, while Mike May explores how researchers are combin-
ing optics and neurobiology to create artificial retinas that will bring vision to people with
certain forms of blindness.
;e technological impact of optics continues to grow—not only in imaging, sensing,
metrology and communications, but also increasingly in medicine. In this month’s cover
story, Martin Booth and his colleagues show how they are harnessing the power of adaptive
optics—a technology originally conceived for astronomy—to achieve dynamic correction
in biomedical microscopy. In addition, Bob Jopson and his fellow chairs of the 2012
OFC/NFOEC meeting describe the state-of-the-art in optical communications—a field
moving so quickly that our article may need updating by the time the meeting occurs in
Los Angeles on March 4-8.
Against this backdrop of scientific progress, the Optical Society plays a vital role. I
have personally benefitted from OSA publications and meetings ever since I was a graduate student. ;e Society remains the international leader in providing the community with
forums for exchanging technical information through its publications and meetings, and in
facilitating informal interaction via local chapters and student events.
I ask you to think about how you can contribute to the Society—and, hence, to the
optics community. Although we benefit from a wonderful professional sta; at OSA, none of
the key functions of the Society, whether in meetings or publications, could occur without
the strong support of the members. My colleague Mike Duncan underscores this point in
his important essay about why peer review matters. When reading the optics literature, we
may all take peer review for granted, but the fact is that this critical measure of scientific
quality control would not be possible if those who submitted manuscripts did not also serve
as engaged and thoughtful reviewers.
During my term as President, I plan to focus on enhancing international participation in
OSA, developing methods for accessing meeting content online and keeping OSA publications at the forefront of innovation. I will also work to ensure that OSA continues to be a
welcoming home for optical scientists and engineers with the widest range of interests and
working in a broad spectrum of professional environments.
I hope you join me in these e;orts, even if it is through small measures, such as increasing the number of journal articles that you review this year. Perhaps Malgosia Kaczmarek
says it best in her new Diversity column in these pages: “Quite often the real di;erence
comes from small steps.”
4 | OPN Optics & Photonics News