The International Year of Light is off to a great start

Over 1,000 participants enjoyed two full days of dazzling displays and visionary talks during opening ceremonies at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in January, a lot more happened and there is a lot more to come.

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2015 was proclaimed International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies by the United Nations and is supported by numerous organisations including Founding Partner SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Thousands of scientists, diplomats, government officials, educators, students, artists, business executives, and others are taking part in hundreds of events across the globe to celebrate and raise awareness of the many uses of light in our lives, revealed SPIE in a press release.

Following New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney and the official opening of the observance at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, other events have included an entry in a lantern festival in Taiwan attended by an estimated 8 million visitors, and numerous other installations and presentations around the world.

This week, the World Photonics Forum was held at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, USA), while the Japan Society for Precision Engineering symposium will take place later this month.

María Yzuel, chair of the Spanish Committee for the IYL, urged participants at the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona to “promote knowledge of how the science of light and light-based technologies improve our daily lives,”

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, hosted the UK-wide launch at St. James’ Palace in London in January.  The 30th Stuttgart Scientific Symposium held in Germany in February was also dedicated to the IYL.

The States of Illumination, Ausglass’ 17th Biennial Conference was held in Adelaide in February 2015. The conference was themed with purpose to connect to UNESCO’s International Year of Light.

Over ten exhibitions were on show around Adelaide including: Illuminations, the Conference exhibition with sixty-five participants at Worth Gallery, Glass: Art, Design and Architecture and Vitrine at JamFactory, and, Transluscent Shadows at SASA Gallery, UniSA, in the conference precinct.

More than 250 participants came from around Australia, New Zealand, Asia, North and South America, and Europe, to Adelaide, “home to a thriving community of artists working with glass and a city bursting with arts festivals”.

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