World celebrates second International Day of Light

Peter Saunders
May 15, 2019
May 15, 2019 – Tomorrow (May 16) will be marked as the second edition of the International Day of Light (IDL), celebrating the central role of light in science and culture, with more than 300 events taking place in 60 countries around the world.

Laval University in Quebec City, for example, will launch The Optical Terrace (La Terrasse Optique), an open-space exhibition supported by the Society for Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), where visitors can learn about the importance of light through interactive colour experiments and holograms. The exhibition will continue through the summer, closing on Sept. 1.

IDL, the first of which was held in 2015, will also focus on light as a ‘cross-cutting’ scientific discipline that can advance sustainable development.

“All of its natural benefits and technological applications make light an essential part of daily life,” says Audrey Azoulay, director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “On the occasions of this celebration, UNESCO affirms its commitment to the international scientific community and its work on this subject. Light is an important issue for the goals of our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The steering committee for IDL includes representatives of SPIE, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) and the IEEE Photonics Society, among others.

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