Podcast Explores Diversity, Visibility and Intersectionality

19 May 2021
In our podcast for the Optical Society (OSA), we spoke to a group of scientists and engineers improving the world through light science who discussed the great drive toward inclusivity and diversity in optics and photonics.

This #WeAreOSA podcast explored diversity, visibility, and intersectionality through the unique perspectives of three OSA members – Timothy Imogore, Klaus Jaeger, and Sile Nic Chormaic. They sought to reinforce the importance of inclusion as part of their career journey and their optics community.

The podcast campaign helped to show how OSA showcases diversity and inclusion advancement, how it nurtures talent and convenes the brightest minds. OSA works to make a success of its members’ careers because a successful global community creates a strong future for optics and photonics across the world.

Sam Young, Head of Content and Media at Matter PR, said:

“Sile, Timothy, and Klaus’ stories come at a critical moment in time, amid OSA and the scientific community making concerted efforts to address exclusion and work towards inclusivity. Although each has each had times when they felt alone, isolated, or excluded, these OSA members can envision how differences can be highlighted and embraced and how that will make the field of optics and photonics stronger and more welcoming.”

Klaus Jäger said:

For me, I’ve seen this as an advantage when I’ve interacted with colleagues from different places, I have a colleague who is from Italy, whenever I actually discuss it, and it gives me a different perspective to something that I’ve been working on… when I discussed with my German colleagues, they give me a different perspective. They make me look at things, really, really differently; diversity is always an advantage when it comes to innovation.”

Sile Nic Chormaic said:

“There can be some really pleasant surprises coming out of that… you really see the ability of somebody they may not have had the opportunities in their home country, but suddenly they can shine when given this opportunity.”

Timothy Imogore said:

“…growth is a continuum, so anything that doesn’t grow is dead. So, there’s always room for growth in terms of diversity.”

Featured in this podcast

Dr. Klaus Jäger – is Senior Scientist and Deputy Department Head at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie and works on optical simulations for solar cells. Besides his research activities, he is also engaged in science communications, mainly to discuss the climate crisis and solar energy potential. He is a core team member of the network LGBTQ+ STEM Berlin.

Professor Sile Nic Chormaic – studies the interaction of light in confined geometries with matter, including optical nanofibre mediated interactions with cold atoms, optical trapping using tweezers and plasmonic surfaces, and whispering gallery resonators.  Sile is a team member of Homeward Bound – a global leadership initiative aimed at increasing the influence of women in decision-making that shapes our planet.

Timothy Imogore – is a Nigerian doctoral student in Ultrafast Optics at the Institute of Applied Physics Jena, Germany. His research focuses on developing novel fiber Bragg grating design and inscription processes using femtosecond laser pulses for advanced dispersion control.

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