INTERNATIONAL PHOTONICS: 2015 to be an International Year of Light, says UN

Do you wish people in general—and politicians in particular—had a better appreciation of light and the technologies that harness its potential? Well, the United Nations General Assembly's decision to proclaim 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL2015) may in effect grant your wish.

The nation of Mexico submitted the IYL2015 resolution to the United Nations Second Committee on November 6, 2013, with delegates from Mexico and New Zealand speaking in support, and co-sponsorship from 35 countries (see the full list in the IYL2015 proclamation announcement). Endorsed by numerous international scientific organizations and the International Council for Science, IYL2015 will be administered by an international steering committee in collaboration with the UNESCO International Basic Sciences Programme and a Secretariat at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics. National and regional committees and contacts will ensure all nations of the world can participate. For more information, and to be placed on a mailing list for updates, contact light@eps.org. Downloads are available from www.eps.org/light2015.

Founding scientific sponsors of IYL2015 are the European Physical Society; SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics; The Optical Society; the IEEE Photonics Society; the American Physical Society; and the lightsources.org international network. Early support came from the African Physical Society, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, International Commission for Optics, International Union for Pure and Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, New Zealand Institute of Physics and Royal Society of New Zealand, National Autonomous University of Mexico, and many other groups and individuals.

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