This week we were in DC for Congressional Visits Day and STEM on The Hill, combining forces with our colleagues at OSA and SPIE and ASTRA to educate and inform our delegation about the importance of Optics, Photonics and Imaging to our national security and to the economy. Our work impacts American lives in so many areas: health care, defense, security and consumer products just to name a few, that it is important to identify, emphasize and support legislation that is important to our membership.
The Optical Society of America (OSA) and International Society For Photonics (SPIE) have really stepped up their lobbying game with the National Photonics Initiative, and their hard work makes our work on The Hill so much easier.
Acknowledgement is due to OSA President, Elizabeth Rogan and SPIE President, Eugene Arthurs for their leadership, and to OSA staff Laura Kolton and Brandy Dillingham and SPIE staff Krisinda Plenkovich and Jennifer Dsouris. Without their hard work and leadership the NPI would not exist and there would have been no Photonics NMI opportunity that resulted in AIM Photonics, focused upon the development of integrated photonics. This is important to keep in mind with so many people taking bows. If you see any of these folks at events and conferences around the world, thank them for their good work.
This week we were fortunate to be joined by two PhD candidates, Jacob Wirth from RIT and Fabrizio Bucccheri, from UR, whose concise descriptions of their work, its relevance to national security, and the importance of U.S. investment in fundamental research that made it possible brought home our R&D message when talking to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Congressman Christopher Smith, Senator Robert Menendez, Senator Corey Booker, Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Senator Chuck Schumer.
Fabrizio’s and Jacob’s participation in this week’s events were made possible by student travel grants from OSA. What a great opportunity for these students. An interesting note: Jacob’s research colleague at Naval Research Labs was a prior student participant in Congressional Visits Day.
For a look at this week’s talking points during our congressional visits, click here: 2016 NPI Talking Points