I am delighted to have been asked to write the opening post for the official blog of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015.
Hopefully most readers will be aware by now that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly formally proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL2015) on the 20th of December 2013. The proclamation followed over four years of hard work by volunteers and society staff worldwide, and has now given us the green light to accelerate and plan a fantastic year of activities throughout 2015.
The UN General Assembly declares only a very small number of International Years, and it does so to raise awareness of issues that are of critical importance for the future. So next year is absolutely not “business as usual”. We have a once-only chance to engage with new audiences and communities to explain why the science of light and its many applications is so important. Light and its applications span all areas of physics and science, and all of us can play a major role in communicating this message to the world.
This blog will play a central role during 2015 in communicating the activities and thoughts of members of the worldwide photonics community. Our aim is to have over 500 individual authored blog posts before the end of 2015, from all sectors of the community and from over 100 different countries.
We will be hearing from a tremendous range of contributors: students at school and university, postdocs, professors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, research administrators, artists, end-users of photonics technologies such as medical doctors and engineers, and contributors from many other sectors that we have not yet anticipated. Our writers will contribute content across the board such as commentaries on issues of importance to researchers, descriptions of latest research results, and well as personal descriptions of the challenges and rewards of being a scientist in different regions of the world.
We hope this blog will allow the public to learn about the diversity and passion of the international photonics community, and to join in with us during the International Year of Light 2015.
Let’s get started!
John Dudley, Chair of the International Year of Light Steering Committee & President of the European Physical Society.
As a Professor at l’Université de Franche-Comté, John heads the Optoelectronics and Photonics research group that currently consists of around 12 permanent staff & 20 contractual staff and/or graduate students. His research interests cover broad themes in nonlinear and ultrafast optics, and he is currently co-laureate of an European Research Council Advanced Grant with Professor Frederic Dias of UCD Dublin to study the physics of extreme waves in optics and hydrodynamics.
For more information about IYL2015, see John’s interview with SPIE below.