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|Focus||Optics and photonics|
|Origins||Founded by optical scientists in 1916 under the leadership of Perley G. Nutting|
|Method||Professional journals and conferences|
The Optical Society (originally established as The Optical Society of America, OSA) is a scientific society dedicated to advancing the study of light--optics and photonics--in theory and application, by means of publishing, organizing conferences and exhibitions, partnership with industry, and education. The organization has members in more than 100 countries. As of 2018 , the OSA had over 21,000 individual members and more than 265 corporate member companies.
OSA was founded in 1916, under the leadership of Perley G. Nutting, with 30 optical scientists and instrument makers based in Rochester, New York. OSA soon began publication of its first journal of research results and established an annual meeting. It was founded as the "Optical Society of America" and has evolved into a global enterprise with a worldwide constituency. In recognition of this, the society was renamed in 2008 as The Optical Society (OSA).
The mission of the Optical Society is to promote the generation, dissemination, application, and archiving of knowledge in optics and photonics. The purposes of the Society are scientific, technical, and educational.
Scientific publishing is a core activity of the society, consisting of 17 flagship, partnered and co-published peer-reviewed journals and 1 magazine. With more than 280,000 articles, including papers from over 470 conferences, the OSA Publishing platform is the second largest collection of conference and peer-reviewed optics and photonics content.
Optics and Photonics News, 1975-present. Distributed to all members.
The Optical Society presents awards and honors, including OSA Fellow, Honorary Membership, and Awards/Medals. OSA's awards and medals program is endowed through the OSA Foundation (OSAF), and includes more than 20 named awards; among them are the following:
OSA sponsors small and large meetings consisting of a technical program and an industrial exhibition appropriate to the subject matter and number of attendees. Large conferences often include professional education courses and workshops addressing the state of emerging technology and industry. The OSA Executive Speaker Series presents luminaries from industry in an informal studio setting to discuss their career paths. Past executives include Coherent CEO John Ambroso and American Elements CEO Michael Silver.
OSA local sections and student chapters are encouraged and supported by the umbrella organization but operate independently. Their activities may include guest speakers, educational outreach, and content from other scientific societies. In 2015, 22 local sections (13 in the U.S. and 9 non-U.S.)and more than 360 student chapters (88 in the U.S. and 272 non-U.S.) that were affiliated with OSA.
The OSA Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting programs that:
Since its establishment in 2002, the Foundation has provided funding for over 350 programs and awarded 825+ grants and prizes in more than 55 countries. Funded activities include: student travel grants, special resources for university students studying optics, scholarships and classroom and extracurricular youth science education programs.