2015 International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies
The International Year of Light is a global initiative which will highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. It is an unique opportunity to inspire, educate, and connect on a global scale.
According to the European Physical Society (EPS), “light is at the origin of all life, it plays a central role in human activities, and has revolutionized society through medicine and communications, entertainment and culture. Industries based on light are major economic drivers; they create jobs, and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light is also important to our appreciation of art, and optical technologies are essential in understanding and preserving cultural heritage. As light becomes a key cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century, it is essential that its importance is fully appreciated. It is equally vital that the brightest young minds from all areas of the world continue to be attracted to careers in this field”. The EPS says that an International Year of Light will raise public awareness of this essential theme, and thus support the missions and priorities of UNESCO in building capacity in education, science and technology for poverty eradication, responding to critical global social challenges, promoting universal access to information, and safeguarding culture. The study of light is accessible to all ages and all cultures; light is a tremendous subject to motivate education at all levels.
SPIE president noted that “science expands our ability to solve the pressing challenges we face in areas important to quality of life for every person. Photonics is a crucial technology in many of those cross-disciplinary solutions as well as our ability to learn more through exploring the universe. The International Year of Light will help raise awareness of the possibilities inherent in light-based science and engineering, and inspire new hope in those who are still waiting for solutions to their challenges. SPIE is delighted with the United Nations proclamation and excited about this powerful opportunity to help further greater understanding of photonics.” Light is more than just science and technology, noted the president, “It is one of the ways we experience and represent our world, through vision and the visual arts. And, it is central to how we express our deepest emotional and philosophical thoughts.”
SOURCE: SPIE and EPS; http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11443336.htm, http://www.osa.org, and http://www.eps.org/news/106324/