International Day of Light

The International Day of Light is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. The broad theme of light will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – education, equality, and peace.

International Year of Light 2015

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). The Year of Light was a joint initiative of a consortium of scientific bodies, together with UNESCO, and brings together partners in education institutions, non-profit organizations, and private sector partners. The New Zealand effort was led by groups of academic institutions, schools and business around the country.

Having proclaimed 2015 as the Year of Light demonstrated the United Nations’ recognition of the role light and its applications plays in everyday life. As a part of the IYL, researchers, educators and industry partners came together to highlight the importance of light and light based technologies.

The aims of the Year of Light New Zealand were:

  • To increase public awareness of the role light plays in daily life around the world and in New Zealand
  • To promote awareness of the capacity of light—related technologies to improve quality of life to audiences including policy and decision makers
  • To make light visible by exploring links between light, nature, science, culture and the arts
  • To energise existing public engagement networks, events and initiatives and encourage cross- disciplinary collaboration that will thrive after IYL2015
  • To promote an awareness of both the positive and negative effects of UV, IR and visible light in the environment
  • To campaign for dark skies, so as to enable star-gazing and an appreciation of the night sky

You can find out more about the IYL 2015 at the official webpage for the International Year of Light 2015.

You can hear John Dudley, the chairman of the IYL 2015 International Steering Comittee, talk about IYL here.