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RMSC Science on the Edge lectures to resume Thursday Oct. 3

    Optimax’s Jessica DeGroote Nelson to present “Turning the Science Fiction of Today into Tomorrow’s Science Fact through Innovations in Optics”


    ROCHESTER, NY—Attendees at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) Richard C. Shultz Science on the Edge lecture series experience science of all kinds. Science on the Edge lectures have provided insight and understanding about current research in a broad array of topics for a general audience for more than 30 years. Tickets to the lecture series include admission to the Science Museum, where lifelong learners can enjoy a unique, after-hours opportunity to explore the Museum’s three floors filled with more than 200 hands-on exhibits. RMSC will kick off its 2020 series with:

    Jessica DeGroote Nelson, Director of Technology and Strategy at Optimax
    Turning the Science Fiction of Today into Tomorrow’s Science Fact through Innovations in Optics
    Thursday, October 3, 2019; 7:30-9pm

    Visionary science fiction books and movies have been accurately predicting future innovations for years! This presentation will explore science fiction prophecies that have become reality through optics technology that we all use today. While introducing new innovations in optics and photonics, this presentation will explore current fantasy worlds such as Iron Man, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, and predict where they are on-target about the technologies of tomorrow. 

    Jessica DeGroote Nelson is the Director of Technology and Strategy at Optimax. She joined the company in 2007 after graduating from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester with a Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in Optics. She is also an adjunct faculty member at The Institute of Optics, teaching an undergraduate and graduate course on Optical Fabrication Materials and Testing. Jessica also holds an Executive MBA from the Simon School at the University of Rochester, and is an active member and presenter with the Optical Society of America SPIE, American Ceramic Society, the American Society of Precision Engineers, and Optics and Electro Optics Standard Council. She is also active in the Optical Society of America – Rochester Section, where she served as president and currently leads educational outreach activities. Jessica is an associate editor for SPIE’s Optical Engineering journal and an editor of SPIE’s Tutorial Text series. In addition, she is chair of several upcoming conferences in 2019 including SPIE Optifab, OSA’s Optical Fabrication and Testing, and OSA’s Freeform.

    RMSC’s Science on the Edge lectures are supported in part by the Richard C. Shultz Endowment Fund.

    Tickets to the Richard C. Shultz Science on the Edge lecture series include admission to the Science Museum and are: $15 for adults; $13 for RMSC Member adults; $11 for students through grade 12 and college students with valid college ID; and $3 for RMSC employees, docents, volunteers, and members of the Rochester Engineering Society. The Science Museum opens at 5:30 p.m., allowing attendees to enjoy Museum exploration, a lecture, and meeting with the speaker(s) in a unique after-hours experience. Seating is limited; pre-registration is encouraged at or by calling 585.697.1942.

    For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Mare Millow, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC, 585.697.1944,

    Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past and present, including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.