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2015 is the International Year of Light

The International Year of Light, a UN initiative to raise public awareness of the importance of photonics on everyday life, was officially launched at a ceremony at UNESCO in Paris on January 19. Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling and detecting photons, or light particles.

The Year is endorsed by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC), as well as by a number of scientific unions: IAU (International Astronomical Union),  ISPRS (The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing), IUHPS/DHST (International Union of History and Philosophy of Science/ Division of History of Science and Technology),  IUPAB (The International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics), IUPAP (The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics), IUTAM (The International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics) and URSI (International Union of Radio Science), and has more than 100 partners  from more than 85 countries.

“As we strive to end poverty and promote shared prosperity, light technologies can offer practical solutions to global challenges,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a message delivered to the opening ceremony.

“They will be particularly important in advancing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, achieving the future sustainable development goals and addressing climate change.”

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies was mandated by the UN General Assembly in 2013 to boost public awareness on the influence of photonics – or, the science and technology of generating, controlling, and detecting photons, or light particles – on everyday life.

For more information visit the International Year of Light website.

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