SPIE Events Highlight Plans for International Day of Light

Rossi Fang won the first SPIE IDL photo contest, with “Xingxingdiandeng.”

The world will be our stage for demonstrating the many ways in which light-based technologies are essential.

With the declaration this month of an annual International Day of Light, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is enthusiastically joining organizations around the world in preparation of activities to celebrate the observance.

Today, the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 16 May as the International Day of Light (IDL), as an enduring follow-on to UNESCO’s highly successful International Year of Light (IYL) in 2015. The global initiative will emphasize to the citizens of the world the importance of light and light-based technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. Outreach and education activities in the IYL reached more than 100 million people in more than 140 countries. (More information is in a press release from the IDL steering committee at wwwlightday.org.)

Starting this year, SPIE is sponsoring an annual International Day of Light photo contest (photos from 2017 winners and other participants are posted at http://www.spie.org/IDL). The goal of the contest is to raise awareness about IDL and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life. The 2018 IDL photo contest will open 16 May and close 20 September.

Also, in a program open to society members, SPIE will fund micro-grants up to $3,000 for projects taking place during May 2018 that highlight applications of light-based technologies in individual lives and in communities around the world. Applications are due 15 December.

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