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Vision, Mission and Core Values


We are the leading global forum for light science and technology.


Our mission is to promote the generation, application and archiving of knowledge in optics and photonics and to disseminate this knowledge worldwide. The purposes of the Society are scientific, technical and educational. Our commitment to excellence and long-term learning is the driving force behind all its initiatives.

Since 1916, we have been the world’s leading champion for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders worldwide to foster and promote technical and professional development. Through our publications, events and services, we help to advance the science of light by addressing the ongoing need for shared knowledge and innovation.

Optica was founded more than 100 years ago as The Optical Society of America and has evolved into a global enterprise serving a worldwide constituency.

Core Values: i4=1

A global community united in our core values.

Innovation: The process of discovery and innovation must be built on accepted scientific methods and engineering practice.

Integrity: A transparent process to ensure that our content is of the highest quality and meets the standards of our community is essential to maintaining integrity and trust with our global membership.

Inclusivity: Innovation and discovery are better fostered in a more diverse, inclusive global scientific community.

Impact: Our work to support the global optics and photonics community must improve the environment for research and development, elevate science broadly, and tangibly benefit humanity. 

Looking Ahead

In 2018, the society’s Board of Directors established the 2030 Rapid Action Committee (RAC). Committee members were asked to envision we might evolve to best attract and retain future generations of talented people in the field. An overview of the RAC’s collective thinking titled “The Optical Society 2030 Green Paper” was published in 2019.

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