Well, we have our first big piece of news to announce about IYL2015 in the UK – The Duke of York has agreed to become our patron! The Duke of York is Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II and a longstanding supporter of UK science and technology.
This is really great news for us. We can be sure of getting some sound and sensible advice from the Duke about the kind of activities we are planning for IYL2015, based on his own wide experience. We hope he will get involved in a number of events around the UK during the Year. And his support will undoubtedly raise the profile of the Year in the media, and with all the other stakeholders that we hope will participate in IYL2015.
As IOP President Dr Frances Saunders commented “On behalf of the national committee, I am delighted that The Duke of York has agreed to be our Patron. We could not hope for a better or more supportive friend. He has already shown his support for science in the UK and in particular an interest in the photonics industry, a real UK success story worth an annual £10.5 billion to the economy and with a growing, high-tech export market, and I know that he is equally enthusiastic about the wider aspirations for the Year.”
Personally, I am really looking forward to his involvement throughout 2015 – though after my first visit to Buckingham Palace I feel a little bit overwhelmed. These are definitely not the sort of circles physicists are used to working in!
Beth Taylor, Chair of the UK National Committee for the International Year of Light 2015.
Prior to her involvement with IYL2015, Dr. Beth Taylor was Director of Communications and International Relations at the Institute of Physics (IOP), responsible for media relations, public affairs and science outreach activities and for the Institute’s international activities, including physics for development programmes to support education and training in the developing world.