Opinions

Authors, intellectuals, artists, journalists and designers share their opinions on different subjects. A touch of light in this gray moment the world experiences; a world that, more than ever, needs the spirit of creativity and the story tellers.

 

 

 

See the Light in every way with International Day of the Light. 
 

Bethany Downer answers for us some  questions on behalf of the International Day of Light Secretariat. 

1. Why the United Nations chose the 16th May to celebrate the International day of the light and when they started?

B.D.:The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) was a United Nations observance that raised global awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and their importance to humankind. Under the leadership of UNESCO, more than 13,000 activities took place in 147 countries to reach an audience estimated at over 100 million. After the success of the International Year of Light, it was clear that the proclamation of an International Day of Light will provide an enduring follow-up to the International Year of Light in raising the profile of science and technology, stimulating education, and improving the quality of life worldwide. The UNESCO Executive Board resolution was endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference at its 39th session on 7 November 2017, at which time UNESCO Declared May 16 to be the International Day of Light. The International Day of Light will be held on May 16th every year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. The laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society in communications, healthcare and many other fields.
2. Which are the major goals of the International Day of Light .

B.D.: The major goals of the International Day of Light are:
-Improve the public understanding of how light and light-based technologies touch the daily lives of everybody, and are central to the future development of the global society.
-Build worldwide educational capacity through activities targeted on science for young people, addressing issues of gender balance, and focusing especially on developing countries and emerging economies.
-Highlight and explain the intimate link between light and art and culture, enhancing the role of optical technology to preserve cultural heritage.
-Enhance international cooperation by acting as a central information resource for activities coordinated by learned societies, NGOs, government agencies, educational establishments, industry, and other partners.
-Emphasise the importance of basic research in the fundamental science of light, the need for investment in light-based technology to develop new applications, and the global necessity to promote careers in science and engineering in these fields.
-Promote the importance of lighting technology and the need for access to light and energy infrastructure in sustainable development, and for improving quality of life in the developing world.
-Raise awareness that technologies and design can play an important role in the achievement of greater energy efficiency, in particular by limiting energy waste, and in the reduction of light pollution, which is key to the preservation of dark skies.
3. Pls tell us more things about the sustainable development goals

B.D.: We have a detailed explaination of the connection to light and the SDGs on this page:
www.lightday.org/development
4. Light plays a central role in our lives. Which of all these roles is most important for you and why?
 
B.D.:There is no one single most important role, as light is valuable in all its uses. Two particular domains include:
-Education and Culture: Light is an inspiring subject in many disciplines, and is the perfect catalyst to promote science education among young people. Teaching programmes using light science and technology build worldwide educational capacity through activities targeting children, addressing issues of gender balance, and focussing especially on countries with emerging economies. The science and applications of light lend themselves naturally to encouraging local innovation, even in environments with limited resources. Moreover, education in light and light-based technologies acts as a lever to encourage careers in science and engineering, as well as stimulating entrepreneurship. Light has influenced and continues to influence human culture. Studying the connection between light and culture throughout history provides valuable insights into the interactions between science, art, and the humanities, and brings greater understanding and appreciation of our cultural heritage. Light has had significant impact on the visual and performing arts, literature, and human thinking. This theme provides an important bridge between science and culture, and will aid in breaking down the boundaries between these fields.
-Science & Technology: Light is central to our understanding of science and the development of technology. For centuries, the study of light and its properties have revolutionized every field of science and have involved all the major figures of science from Ibn Al Haytham to Einstein. From gamma rays to radio waves, the spectrum of light provides insights both far-ranging and near, from the origin of the Universe to technologies that have shaped our society. For instance, advanced research in areas such as nanophotonics, quantum optics, and ultrafast science are inspiring new fundamental discoveries and opening new scientific frontiers. Light-based technologies and photonics directly respond to the needs of humankind by providing access to information, promoting sustainable development, and increasing well-being and standard of living. Photonics-enabled industries are major economic drivers, and the many applications of photonics have transformed society through improved medicine, communications, and energy production. Photonics is ubiquitous in our daily lives: from technologies that improve vision and power the Smartphones in our hands, to state-of-the-art technologies that provide us with tools for space observation and fibre optics that help us communicate via the Internet. Photonics is poised to become the key enabling technology of the future.
5. Light is a promising alternative energy sources.Can you tell how it will support the future?

B.D.: The science and technology of light play an important role in the development and positive evolution of societies, and are essential for maintaining our expanding connectivity to one another. Photonics provides practical and cost-effective solutions to meet global challenges in energy production, sustainable development and healthcare and align well with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Photonics connects the citizens of the world through the Internet and communications networks, and is a vital enabler for business and education. These networks also support accountability to ensure peace, justice and stronger legal institutions. Optical technologies play a key role in medicine, from simple diagnostics and monitoring to advanced treatment options and research. Remote sensing technologies promote the development of sustainable agriculture to fight hunger and to protect life on land and in rivers, lakes and oceans. Modern lighting provides important opportunities to improve quality of life with efficient and green solutions. And light-based technologies are critical for monitoring and predicting climate change.
6. The celebration usually organises many events in many different sectors.How we will celebrate the Light this year from our home?
 
B.D.: Instead, many events have adopted online events and others have postponed to later in the year. There are hundreds of online and virtual events taking place over the coming days and the full events list can be found  of events are taking place virtually and online around May 16 in around 70 countries around the world.We have also shared our special video message for the #SEETHELIGHT campaign:
 
 
and launched two special initiatives by the IDL Secretariat: https://www.lightday.org/online-virtual-events-idl2020
 
 
 
 
 
 A quote by Le Soleil Foundation 
 
  As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way. Let nothing dim the Light that shines from within.