Actions Optica has undertaken in response to the crisis in Ukraine
The Optica Public Affairs Council held two emergency sessions on February 25 and March 4 on Ukraine leading to the following actions:
24 February 2022
Optica issued a Public Statement on our web site and via social media, “We at Optica are deeply concerned for the safety, health, and well-being of our members and their families in Ukraine. Optica staff and volunteers are connecting with members in Ukraine to offer assistance. We stand with those who seek knowledge, those who forge solutions, those who strive for peace. We call for an immediate end to the invasion and conflict.”
15 March 2022
Optica strongly condemns the invasion of Ukraine ordered by the Government of the Russian Federation. As a global society of scientists, engineers, business leaders, policymakers, researchers, educators and students, we call for an immediate end to the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people. We remain engaged with our community in Ukraine and those who have been forced to leave and will continue to support them with our relief efforts. We stand with all those who oppose this war, including those in the Russian scientific community who have bravely raised their voices despite great personal risk. We recognize the dignity of the Ukrainian people and value Ukrainian contributions as part of the fabric of our community. We continue to urge for a united global response to end this senseless destruction of life, property and heritage.
9 March 2022
We mirrored a letter from leading Russian scientists protesting the invasion of Ukraine.
11 March 2022
Optica led an effort to send a multi-scientific society letter to the United States of America’s Executive Branch and Congressional leadership asking for humanitarian, emigration and visa assistance for Ukrainian scientists seeking refuge in the USA. Thirty-two of our peer societies have supported this effort.
Engaging with the Optica Community in Ukraine and Neighboring Nations
We have contacted the Optica community in Ukraine, shared our Public Statement with them, inquired about their (and their families) status and well-being and asked if they wanted us to share their secure contact information with others in the Optica community within Ukraine and adjacent nations. We remain in frequent contact. We have contacted the Optica community in Poland, Slovakia, Moldova, Hungary, and Romania to identify those who are willing to be contacted by the Ukrainian Optica Community.
Providing Access to All Optica Publishing Group Journals
Working with our partner, Research4Life, we have opened up access to all content on our Optica Publishing Group platform to all faculty and students in 225 Ukrainian institutions. Both onsite and remote access is available. This complimentary access will continue through the end of 2022 and possibly longer. Article Processing Charges for Ukrainian corresponding authors in our Open Access journals are also waived through the end of 2022.
Optica has provided emergency funding to the 5 active Student Chapters in Ukraine. We have also provided financial support to the Polish Technological Platform on Photonics (PPTF) and WaveJobs efforts to match Ukrainian members of the Optica community with work and academic opportunities. All current members of Optica from Ukraine will have their membership renewed for a year at no cost.