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SPIE Joins LaserFest as Founding Partner


Colleen Morrison
The Optical Society
Amy Nelson

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26—The organizers of LaserFest, the celebration in 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first working laser, announced today that SPIE will be participating as a founding partner of the initiative. Founding partners, including the American Physical Society (APS), the Optical Society (OSA) and now SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, are organizations whose missions include the support of laser science and technologies. Each has made a commitment to invest a minimum of $100,000 in the celebration.

"Members of SPIE, OSA and APS have made countless contributions to the research, development and advancement of laser technology throughout the 20th and 21st centuries," said Anthony Siegman, member of the LaserFest technical advisory committee. "The invention of the laser truly was a cornerstone for many of today's ubiquitous technologies, and thanks to the work of these three founding partners, as well as that of other participating groups, the significance of this achievement will be reflected in the depth and breadth of LaserFest activities."

A science community collaboration, LaserFest will recognize and honor the accomplishments of the pioneers who made possible the discovery, development and application of the laser, as well as inform students, educators, legislators, funding agencies and the general public about the impact of the laser and the importance of scientific and technological innovation. Educational outreach will focus on raising awareness of today's laser technologies and tomorrow's possibilities.

Multiple organizations have already signed up in support of LaserFest. In addition to founding partners, levels of support include sponsors, partners, media partners, participants and patrons. The National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy signed on as sponsors earlier this year, each contributing $150,000. Partners, or those organizations that promote and support LaserFest through self-hosted programs and initiatives, currently include the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Institute of Physics, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, LASER: World of Photonics, OP-TEC/National Center for Optics & Photonics Education, Sigma Pi Sigma (the Physics Honor Society) and the Society of Physics Students. More information about supporting LaserFest can be found on the LaserFest Web site.

About LaserFest

LaserFest, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser, emphasizes the laser's impact throughout history and highlights its potential for the future. Through a series of events and programs, LaserFest showcases the prominence of the laser in today's world. For more information, visit www.LaserFest.org.

About SPIE

SPIE is the International Society for Optics and Photonics, founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 188,000 constituents from 138 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. In 2008, the Society provided more than $1.9 million in support of scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world. For more information, visit SPIE.org.

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