Let There Be Light: International Year Of Light 2015 Intends To Inspire

Earth lights from ISS (Credit: NASA/JSC)

Light is a vitally important resource that has enabled human beings to progress from primitive diurnal cave dwellers to 24 hour hi-tech societies. The harnessing of light, across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, has provided advances in many areas essential for day-to-day life, general well-being and species survival—from nature, arts and entertainment, through to science, communication and medicine, all have contributed to our undoubted success.

To raise awareness of these monumental achievements, inspire the next generation of scientists/engineers and to showcase light’s critical importance to human society, Unesco, along with 100 collaborative partners from 85 countries, have organised the International Year of Light (IYL). Officially declared open on 19-20 January, the festival will include a comprehensive series of online collaborations, global exhibitions (art/science) and scientific lectures.

To ensure egalitarian inclusiveness, IYL 2015 will include an online image collection (‘LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb’) where people, who aren’t able to attend organised events, are invited to upload images to a free public gallery and/or arrange their own local exhibitions by utilising the submitted input.

Light takes on many forms that are largely invisible and undetectable without modern technology. Light allows us to communicate, entertain, explore, and understand the world we inhabit and the Universe we live in’, highlight the event organisers, ‘IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today’.

‘LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb’ – a selection of uploaded images, highlighting the eclectic nature of light and the project:

Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL

Solar farm Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL

Credit: Greg Kuebler, JILA, courtesy: National Science Foundation

Lasers Credit: Greg Kuebler, JILA

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. Potsdam/L. Oskinova et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NGC 602 Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. Potsdam/L. Oskinova et al./STScI/JPL-Caltech

Credit: ALFRED PASIEKA: www.alfred-pasieka.de

White matter fibres Credit: ALFRED PASIEKA: www.alfred-pasieka.de

Credit: Optoelectronics Research Centre, Southampton, UK

Fibre optics and communications Credit: Optoelectronics Research Centre, Southampton, UK

Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi

Lasers for astronomy Credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi

Credit: Marek Mís

Polarised photomicrograph Credit: Marek Mís

Credit: Georgette Douwma/Science Photo Library

Blueline Snapper Credit: Georgette Douwma/Science Photo Library

Credit: Jp Marquis

Lightning Credit: Jp Marquis

Credit: Marek Mís

Fireflies Credit: Marek Mís

National grid Credit: NASA

National grid Credit: NASA

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Paul Hattle

As a strong advocate for science and learning, I am a passionate supporter of the 'Campaign for Science and Engineering' (CaSE) Fellow of the 'Royal Astronomical Society' (RAS) Associate Member of the 'Institute of Physics' (IOP) & 'The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators' (ISTC)

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