Thursday, April 7, 2011

Civic Scientific Duty

This is just a short note to emphatically urge any U.S. citizens attending CLEO to sign up and participate in Capitol Hill Day during Thursday May 5, at the CLEO conference. The deadline for signing up is this Friday, April 8. OSA will arrange for you to meet with your district's or state representative(s) so that you can describe the importance of the optics industry, optics and science research, and science education for your state. Your voice is particularly important to prevent harmful or devastating budget cuts to optics, as U.S. congress focuses on ways to cure a ballooning U.S. deficit through budget cuts. Though we may be on different sides of the political aisle, we know that government funding for science research is intimately intertwined with private sector development of cutting edge products. If science and tech funding agencies like NSF, NIH, DOE, DOD, DOC, even USDA (see December FTTH post) take a blow, not only those in academia and government labs will feel it, but the optics industry will as well

OSA will provide training on Wednesday, May 4, at 6 pm for strategies on how to efficiently and appropriately promote science funding to your representatives. On May 5, transportation will be proviced to D.C. via a charter bus. The bus will leave at 8:30 am and return before 5 pm. Because many CLEO attendees might not wish to miss a full day of talks (or might have a talk themselves), OSA recommends the use of a commuter train line from D.C. to Baltimore for those who need to return early.

This is a unique opportunity for scientific civic engagement. Please participate and help keep funding in the optical sciences.

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