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International Year of Light

2015 International Year of Light

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the resolution of declaring 2015 the

International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies
(IYL 2015)




Light plays a central role in human activities in science, technology and culture. Light itself underpins the existence of life, and light-based technologies will guide and drive the future development of human society. Light and optics have revolutionized medicine, have opened up international communication via the Internet, and continue to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society. Advances in lighting and solar energy are considered crucial for future sustainable development.

Scientists and educators, in a large variety of scientific disciplines ranging from physics to astronomy, chemistry, material science, biology, etc., are well aware of the tremendous importance of optical science and technology for future international development. As the application of light through the field of photonics becomes the key cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century, it is critical that the brightest young minds continue to be attracted into science and engineering careers in this field.

It was the need to promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world which has motivated EPS to coordinate a proposal for the proclamation of an International Year of Light in 2015, under the auspices of the United Nations. As well as celebrating the anniversaries of important milestones in the history of science that fall in 2015, the International Year of Light project will include important aspects of education and development, focusing specifically on how the science of light can improve the quality of life in the developing world and in emerging economies.

The project involves many international partners, representing major international scientific societies from all branches of physics.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2015 International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies took place in Paris, UNESCO's headquarters on 19-20 January 2015. See UNESCO'S pictures.

For further information, please consult the official website.


Sponsored and organised by

European Physical Society
European Physical Society

IEEE Photonics

Optical Society of America

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