In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the UN has recognised the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionised medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society. IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today. This International Year will bring together many different stakeholders including scientific societies and unions, educational institutions, technology platforms, non-profit organisations and private sector partners.
“An International Year of Light is a tremendous opportunity to ensure that international policymakers and stakeholders are made aware of the problem-solving potential of light technology. We now have a unique opportunity to raise global awareness of this.”
John Dudley, Chairman of the IYL 2015 Steering Committee