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28 July 2013

August recess brings Congress home for US photonics industry

One of the best chances of the year for the US photonics industry to capture the ear of Congress is scheduled to begin Friday: the August recess.

Do you wish that your Congressional representative or senator understood why your photonics business or research is important to the economy?

Do you wish that your representative knew how photonics helps -- to give just a few examples -- ensure community safety, cure diseases such as cancer, enable mobile phone communications and the internet, power 3D printing of airplane parts -- and create new industry and jobs?

To help tell the photonics story, researchers
including Naomi Halas of Rice University
(above) tell in an SPIE.tv video how they use
optics and photonics to kill cancer, treat brain
disorders, make computers run faster, convert
mobile phones into sophisticated wireless
diagnostic devices, identify concealed explosives,
and more. (Video:1:38)
And do you wish that Congress realized that the nations that are most successful at being leaders in these technologies are the nations whose leaders have established photonics-related goals to be in first place?

If so, take advantage of Congress’ customary August recess to visit Members’ local offices and have your say.

Your job is made easier by several tools including some prepared by industry experts participating in the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) sponsored by five engineering and scientific societies including SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The NPI was among recommendations specified in last year’s National Academies’ report “Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for our Nation.”
Among the tools are:


Reach out. Speak up. Give your representative and senators a face and a name to connect with -- yours! -- when he or she is back in session and voting on polices that will ( or might not…) serve to advance photonics. Share your story and your aspirations for using photonics to improve your world.

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