International Year of Light 2015 UK launches at St James’s Palace

HRH The Duke of York, Patron of International Year of Light in the UK, hosted a reception at St. James’s Palace for the UK launch of UNESCO’s International Year of Light.

The UK launch follows UNESCO’s international launch in Paris last week and included speeches from The Duke of York, Science Minister, Rt Hon Dr Greg Clark MP, and Kat Harrison, Research Director of international development charity SolarAid.

The event brought together top-level representatives of organisations engaged in relevant industries, academic areas, policy and NGOs, to raise awareness of IYOL and the opportunities it offers.

The UK’s achievements in advancing light-based science and technology including cutting-edge applications from space to medicine were on display at the venue.

The Duke of York said “the International Year of Light is about how we have used light over the centuries; it is how we are applying light, photonics and various other aspects in order to make the world a better place, not only for ourselves, but for future generations.”

Beth Taylor, Chair of the IYOL UK national committee, said, “I believe this year offers a unique opportunity to make a significant impact, bringing together communities from across different scientific disciplines and from the world of art and culture, to celebrate the importance of light in all of our lives. We have ambitious plans for a programme of activities and events to increase public awareness of the year’s objectives, to enthuse young people with the excitement of science and to champion the benefits of light in the developing world.”

UNESCO’s IYOL aims to inspire the next generation of young scientists and engineers, celebrate women’s role in science and promote sustainable development through access to solar lighting in the developing world.  Find out more by visiting the IYOL UK website