16 May 2019
On 16 May 2019, more than 300 events are scheduled to take place in 60 countries worldwide.
The broad theme of light allows 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.
As the Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay states in a special message for the International Day of Light 2019: “All its natural benefits and its scientific and technological applications make light an essential part of the daily life of our societies; these benefits and applications make light an important issue for the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Over 300 events are scheduled to take place in 60 countries worldwide, bringing together an international community of scientists, students and the public. A special focus of celebrations on 16 May will be the Illuminating Education conference held at the UNESCO Category 1 Institute ICTP in Trieste.
Presentations will cover a wide range of topics, from leading edge inspiring science to discussions of science education, issues of diversity and gender equality, and practical career advice. A full list of planned events worldwide can be accessed on the official Events Page. For further information, please contact the International Day of Light secretariat: John Dudley, IDL 2018 Steering Committee Chair; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SPIE partnership with IDL
Optical fiber networks, the inner workings of smartphones, light painting, and Laser Pink Floyd: there are myriad ways in which light impacts our lives, and the second International Day of Light is to celebrate them all. This year’s flagship event in Trieste, Italy, is showcasing just some of the areas – science, sustainable development, health, art, and communications – in which light creates and enables critical benefits.
The overall program, entitled "Illuminating Education", will include a presentation by University of Auckland’s Cather Simpson (“Using Physics to Feed the Planet”); the National Optical Astronomy Observatory’s Stephen Pompea showcasing the fruits of public engagement within his field; and Imperial College London’s Jess Wade describing her next-generation, OLED research as well as her efforts to address gender imbalance in science.
As a member of the IDL steering committee, SPIE, publisher of optics.org, is playing an integral part during the Trieste event: longtime SPIE Member and member of its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee Perla Marlene Viera-Gonzàlez will be sharing her science outreach experiences alongside members of other international scientific societies.
Furthermore, today, SPIE is launching its annual IDL Photo Competition, and, around the world, communities will be sharing the benefits of light and celebrating light with the support of an SPIE IDL Micro Grant.
From the US to Ukraine, here is just a sample of the many ways in which light will be heralded, shared, and celebrated across the globe: