International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies 2015
About IYL 2015
The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative that 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.
A resolution declaring 2015 the International Year of Light was passed by the full United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2013. The Optical Society is one of six founding scientific organizations that worked to obtain the formal declaration.
The International Year of Light will consist of coordinated activities on national, regional and international levels.
Raising Global Awareness
In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.
Light in our Daily Life
Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society. For centuries light has transcended all boundaries, including geographic, gender, age, culture and race, and is a tremendous subject to motivate education.
United Nations Support
Prior to approval by the full U.N. General Assembly, the IYL 2015 resolution was submitted to the United Nations Second Committee on 6 November 2013 by the nation of Mexico, with delegates from both Mexico and New Zealand speaking in support. As Ana María Cetto from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) says: “Light matters to all of us. It is thanks to light that we know our place in the Universe, and that there is life on Earth. The IYL will create a forum for scientists, engineers, artists, poets and all others inspired by light to interact both with each other and with the public so as to learn more about the nature of light, its many applications, and to discuss its role in our culture.”
The resolution was adopted with co-sponsorship from 35 countries: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and United States of America.
This impressive list of co-sponsors reflects the truly international and inclusive nature of the theme of an International Year of Light.
OSA Past President Anthony Johnson presents information on the International Year of Light to the OSA Student Chapter Leadership members at FiO 2013 in Orlando, FL.
OSA Student Members brainstorming ideas for IYL 2015 activities and events.