Knight, who is 54 and currently a ‘director at large’ of the OSA, says that he has three main aims for his time in office: to make sure the society is fully international in all its activities; to ensure that the society’s journals remain affordable and maintain their scientific quality; and to ensure that the society manages the huge success of the Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) conference and exhibit, which was attended by over 37 000 people last year.

Even though the OSA’s headquarters is in Washington, DC, Knight points out that about one third of the society’s 14 000 members work outside the United States and that its premier journal, Optics Letters, currently publishes more papers by European authors than by American authors. Knight himself has published more than 350 papers on theoretical quantum optics and quantum information and is head of the quantum optics and laser science group at Imperial.