2015: The International Year of Light

Not just a day, not just a week, not even just a month, but the entire year of 2015 is dedicated to the celebration of Light and Light-Based technologies!

The theme of the year was decided by UNESCO (which stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) who have been choosing these international years since 1960. Other years have been on topics as diverse as Chemistry, Astronomy, Languages and Forests. The aim of these international years is to bring awareness to a certain field and to encourage as many people as possible to become involved.

UNESCO’s main goals that run through all their projects are: to provide education for everyone, to strengthen cross-cultural connections, to encourage scientific co-operation and to allow people freedom of expression. They hope that this international year will be able to bring all these together as light and light based technology affects everyone and will benefit from international and scientific co-operation to advance the industry further.

UNESCO’s official logo for the year

UNESCO’s official logo for the year

Within the theme of light, UNESCO say they hope to focus on the problems and solutions that light can offer to a number of areas such as energy, education, agriculture and health. They also want to promote public and political understanding about the central role light plays in their lives, from smartphones to sight itself, and to show that research into light is not limited to the sciences. To show this, the organisation is trying to promote as many creative ideas as possible such as several photography projects throughout the years.

100 partners from 85 countries around the globe are involved, from the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) to Royal Philips Lighting. Throughout the year there are loads of events going on, such as exhibitions, talks and so much more. Look on the website for more details of events happening in your area, or you can even organise one yourself! Also on the website are educational resources and activities for a range of ages, as well as articles on how light is being used in the real world, like how medicine is using smart technology for more accurate diagnoses.

So go and get involved in whatever way you can! Even if it’s a quick peek at some of the articles, you never know what you might discover next.

Further Resources: Find out more on the UNESCO official website:

Find out more about UNESCO and their projects here:

Tell us how you’re getting involved and how we should celebrate over on our Faceboook page:

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Published 2015/06/19

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