The International Year of Light and Light

The International Year of Light
and Light-based Technologies
Health Communications Economy
International Year of Light
International Year of Light
Stressing that enhanced global awareness of and increased education in
the science and technologies of light are vital for addressing challenges
such as sustainable development, energy and community health, as well as
for improving the quality of life in both developed and developing countries
Considering that the applications of light science and technology are vital
for existing and future advances in medicine, energy, information and
communications, fibre optics, astronomy, architecture, archaeology,
entertainment, art and culture, and that light-based technologies
contribute to the fulfilment of internationally agreed development goals,
including by providing access to information and increasing societal health
and well-being
Considering also that technology and design can play an important role in
the achievement of greater energy efficiency, in particular by limiting
energy waste, and in the reduction of light pollution
What the UN wants
To promote light technologies for improved quality
of life in developed and developing world
To reduce light pollution and energy waste
To promote women’s empowerment in science
To promote education amongst young people
To promote sustainable development
Potential is very broad
Origin of Life
Communications & GPS
Optical Instruments
The Universe
Potential is very broad
Cultural Heritage
Education for All
Light and Art
Light pollution, technology
Smart lighting can both highlight culture and reduce light pollution
Optical technologies give new impetus - from art to archaeology
Addressing global challenges
Light technologies provide solutions to
challenges in energy & climate change
Focus on development
Internet use by population
75% in Europe
16% in Africa
Study after sunset is not
possible in many developing
“Light gives us life through photosynthesis, lets us see back in time towards
that cosmic big bang, and helps us communicate with the other sentient
beings here on Earth. The optics and photonics technologies developed for
space exploration have rendered many valuable spin-off applications in
everyday life.”
John Maher (Nobel Prize 2006)
Civilization would not exist without light; light from our Sun and light from
the focused and coherent lasers which now have become an important part
of our daily lives. The International Year of Light will surely raise awareness
of these powerful discoveries and their present wide-ranging, light-based
technologies which are significant contributors to the world market. As
importantly, the International Year of Light will inspire future discoveries and
applications for one of the most important element of our existence: light.
Ahmed Zewail (Nobel Prize 1999)
Science base
Linking new communities
Outreach to the public and decision makers
Direct benefit to society in developing and
developed countries
High profile events throughout 2015
IYL Opening Ceremony
19-20 January 2015, 1500 attendees, global webcast
Nobel laureates
Industry Leaders
UNESCO Programme Leaders
This is like nothing we
have ever done before
In 2009, the International Year of
Astronomy reached 815 million
people in 148 nations
We can do even better in 2015
The International Year of Light
and Light-based Technologies
We will only get one chance

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