Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

The Optical Society Hails United Nations’ Declaration Naming 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies

International year of light logoWASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2013—The Optical Society (OSA) has commended the United Nations for declaring 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015).  The resolution was adopted late last week at the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly in Paris. OSA is one of six founding scientific sponsors of IYL 2015 that worked to obtain the formal declaration.

“We are grateful to the United Nations for this key decision to support the International Year of Light,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan, a member of the IYL 2015 committee.  “We now have a platform by which to share with the world the importance of light to science, technology, nature and culture. OSA will draw on our extensive network of members, students and volunteers to bring global attention to this valuable initiative.”

IYL 2015 is a cross-disciplinary educational and outreach project with more than 100 partners from more than 85 countries, accompanied by the UNESCO International Basic Sciences Program. The goal of IYL 2015 is to 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.
“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,” a statement put out by the IYL 2015 Steering Committee said. 

A resolution welcoming and endorsing an International Year of Light in 2015 was first adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board at its 190th session in October 2012. The IYL 2015 resolution was submitted to the United Nations Second Committee in November of this year by the nation of Mexico, and delegates from both Mexico and New Zealand spoke in support of the submission. The resolution was adopted with co-sponsorship from 35 countries.

The founding scientific sponsors of IYL 2015 are the American Physical Society, the European Physical Society, the IEEE Photonics Society, the international society for optics and photonics (SPIE), the international network and OSA.

IYL 2015 is endorsed by a number of other international scientific unions and the International Council of Science. IYL 2015 will be administered by an International Steering Committee in collaboration with the UNESCO International Basic Sciences Program at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and a Secretariat at The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, which is a UNESCO Category 1 Institute.

About OSA

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership programs, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of professionals in optics and photonics. For more information, visit