I’ve been an OSA member for more than 20 years and an active volunteer for the Society for much of that time. While both of those experiences have been rewarding in different ways, I take special pride in my status as a Fellow member, which I earned in 2008. Joining OSA and serving on committees were activities that I chose to participate in, but Fellowship marked the first time that I was chosen by my OSA peers in recognition for the contributions I had made to the field.
For this reason, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the 72 OSA members who have been elected as the newest class of OSA Fellows. These distinguished individuals are highlighted in this issue of Optics & Photonics News.
OSA Fellows are selected based on their overall impact on optics, as gauged through their scientific, engineering and technological contributions; their publications or patents related to optics; their technical leadership in the field; and their service to OSA and the global optics community. Drawing on nominations from current Fellows, OSA’s Fellow Members Committee recommends candidates to the OSA Board of Directors. The process is highly competitive, since the total number of OSA Fellows is limited by OSA’s bylaws to no more than 10 percent of the OSA membership.
However, since new Fellows are named every year, there is always another chance for each OSA member to accomplish this goal. Fellowship illustrates a key operating principle of active participation in any professional society: You give and you get. Congratulations to the new Fellows, who richly deserve the recognition they are receiving.
One of the aspects of OSA that excites me as president is its broad global outreach. It’s been fascinating for me to witness the Society’s transformation over the past decade from a U.S.-based organization into a truly international community. Thus, I find myself drawn to OPN’s global content, and the article on optics in Turkey is an excellent case study of what can happen when governments make scientific R&D a priority.
After the country’s 2003 constitution added a council to improve higher education and created specific goals and measures, Turkey saw steady increases in its number of researchers, universities, R&D investments and scientific papers published by Turkish authors. Those improvements have been coupled with robust social and economic growth: As the R&D expenditure increased, the Turkish GDP also rose significantly. The amount of funding per researcher has increased by about an order of magnitude over the last decade.
I hope you enjoy learning about science around the world as much as I do, and I invite you to share with Optics & Photonics News (email email@example.com) your stories about the successes and challenges of doing optical science in your own country.
—Donna Strickland, OSA President