UNESCO celebrates international „Day of Light”

UNESCO organizes its second International Day of Light to underscore light’s worldwide significance in all areas of life. On May 16, 2019, there will be global campaigns and events around a topic that is relevant to all: promoting education in light sciences – especially in developing countries. We’ve swapped our regular Fact Friday for a Fact Thursday to cover what we can expect on the 2nd International Day of Light.

May 16th as a day of action

Since last year in 2018, the International Day of Light has been organised by UNESCO to highlight the importance of light in science, art and culture, education and sustainable development. UNESCO’s goal is to bridge the gap internationally between science, culture, decision-makers, industry leaders and the public. In 2018, more than 640 events were held in over 80 different countries worldwide. But why on May 16th? In choosing this date, UNESCO commemorates the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer Theodore Maiman. The laser exemplifies perfectly how a scientific discovery can bring revolutionary change to a society, according to the official Day of Light website1.

❞ 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. ❝

– UNESCO 2

Special topic: education in light sciences

This year, UNESCO also aims to draw attention to education in science and technology, particularly in light sciences. Their focus is on scientific education for young people, achieving a balance between the sexes in the industry and in providing educational development for emerging countries. “Illuminating Education,” a conference taking place in Trieste, Italy, will cover topics, such as the role of light as a key driver for sustainable development and education, entrepreneurship and career development for young researchers.

What potential does light have for the future?

On the 15th and 16th of May, the Deutsche Lichttechnische Gesellschaft e.V. (LiTG) will present the große Zukunftskonferenz Licht 2019. The conference’s focus is on the question of light’s role in the society of tomorrow and beyond. The conference aims to provide a platform to discuss the development of innovative ideas in architecture, psychology, the environment, lighting technology and philosophy. Current topics such as urbanization, digitization and connectivity also play a leading role.

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