2015 has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technology (IYL2015). By proclaiming the IYL2015, the United Nations, together with 100 partners over 85 countries, wants to recognize the importance of light and light based technology in the lives of the citizens of the world and for the future development of global society on many levels.
“The IYL2015 intends to stress that the enhanced global awareness of and the education in the science and technologies of light are crucial for addressing challenges such as sustainable development, energy and community health as well as improving the quality of life in both developed and developing countries. Light and application of light science and technology are vital for existing and future advances in medicine, energy, information & communication, fibre optics, agriculture, mining, astronomy, architecture, archaeology, entertainment, art and culture. […]”
UN General Assembly
2015 also coincides with the anniversaries of a series of milestones in the history of the science of light that are celebrated during the year: 1000 years of “The book Of Optics” by Ibn Al Haytham (1015); 200 years of the Wavelength’s Theory of Light by Fresnel (1815), 150 years of the Electromagnetic Theory of Light by Maxwell (1865), 100 years of General Relativity by Einstein (1915), 60 years of the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Penzias & Wilson and the implementation of Fibre Optics in communication (1965).
The Duke of York, Patron on the Year of Light in the UK, said
“the International Year of Light is about how we have used light over the centuries; it is how we are applying light, photonics and various other aspects in order to make the world a better place, not only for ourselves, but for future generations."
The Open University (OU), a Higher Education and Research Institute, truly believes in the power of cross-disciplinary Education and Research for a better society and world. Given its active research in many scientific areas related to the science of light (cold atoms research, Astronomy, imaging technology, space exploration technology, etc.), the Open University, and in particular the Department of Physical Sciences, is supporting the IYL2015 as an International Gold Associate Sponsor of the year.
Dr Lucia Marchetti, Post Doctoral Research Associate in Astronomy at the Open University, is coordinating the OU IYL sponsorship both nationally and internationally. She is member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) IYL working group and, as member of the IYL UK National Committee, she is chairing the UK IYL Education & Outreach working group. This group is developing and implementing a series of National activities to engage both schools (students and teachers) and the general public with the IYL cross-disciplinary messages during the whole year. For more details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about The Open University's involvement with The International Year of Light as well as events being held in celebration of it, please head over to The Faculty of Science's International Year of Light page.