Light is the means by which human beings see themselves, each other, and their place in the Universe.
Light is an essential part of culture and art and is a unifying symbol for the world. An International Year of Light is the ideal instrument to ensure the necessary increased worldwide awareness of the central role of light in the present and in the future of us all. It will promote the presence of light in science and culture, and the importance of light-based technologies for the equitable development of global society.
The project received endorsement from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) general assembly in November 2011 and has since received support from unions including IUPAB (Biophysics), IUHPS (History and Philosophy of Science); IAU (Astronomy); ISPRS (Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing); URSI (Radio Science). The partnership includes UNESCO-ICTP and SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East). Indeed a decision unanimously in favour of this was approved by the Council of SESAME at its 19th session in December 2011.
The project is not only about science, however – light also touches on culture, history and education. Issues of sustainability and development are also of central importance.
The International Year of Light will consist of coordinated activities on national, regional and international levels. Activities will be planned so that people of all ages and all backgrounds from all countries appreciate the central role of light in science and culture, and as a cross-cutting scientific discipline that can advance sustainable development.
For more information on the International Year of Light, visit the official website: