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ICO Newsletter

January 2017 Number 110


ICO President leading the way to becoming a scientific union

Yasuhiko Arakawa foreword to the ICO Strategic Plan 2017–2022.


Since its inception in 1947, the ICO has served the international community of optics and photonics by fostering an exchange of information through scientific events, publications, topical schools, and technical committees with emphasis on the developing world. We contribute toward the development of the science and technology of optics and photonics as well as its application for scientific and societal purposes.

The ICO recognizes distinguished professionals in optics and photonics with three annual awards: the ICO Prize, the ICO Galileo Galilei Award, and the ICO/ICTP Gallieno Denardo Award. As of 2005, the ICO also administers the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Optics.

The ICO structure has always been simi- lar to that of the ICSU Union, consisting of 53 Territorial Committees, originally named National Committees, and 7 International Member Societies. The Territorial Committees are missioned to be representative of optics and photonics activity in a given geographical territory and to support its total financial independence. The ICO is currently a Scientific Associate of ICSU and an Affiliated Commission of IUPAP.

Optics and photonics have been identified as a key science and technology for addressing the challenges of society in the 21st cen- tury. Optics and photonics have primarily been based on physics however, many other disciplines have evolved and are now deeply connected such as mathematics, geodesy, chemistry, biology, art, and engineering.

To further our contribution to the evolution of human society and culture, we believe there is a need to scientifically expand optics and photonics by emphasizing the interaction with these disciplines. In light of this, the ICO is now in the process of applying to become a scientific union. We ask all scientific communities to recognize the significance of optics and photonics and to support the ICO to become one of the ICSU union members.

Yasuhiko Arakawa, ICO President, 2014–2017


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International Commission for Optics

Bureau members (2014-2017):

President: Y. Arakawa;

Past-President: D. T. MooreTreasurer: J A Harrington;

Secretary: A M Guzmán. e-mail:,

Associate Secretary: G von Bally

Vice-Presidents, elected: J. Harvey, F. Höller, H. Michinel, J. Niemela, R. Ramponi, S-H Park, J. Zakrzewski, M. Zghal

Vice-Presidents, appointed: K. D. Choquette, J. C. Howell, S. Morgan, E. Rosas, P. Urbach, A Wagué, M. J. Yzuel

IUPAP Council Representative: C Cisneros

Editor in chief: A M Guzmán

Editorial committee:
K Baldwin, Australian National University, Australia;
J Dudley, Université de Franche-Comté, France;
William T Rhodes, Florida Atlantic University, USA.