IOP Press Office Information

European citizen science study using light to understand air pollution

Notes to editors:

1.  Contact

For further information, please contact the UK International Year of Light Coordinator, Toby Shannon

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7470 4868


2. The International Year of Light in the UK

As designated by the United Nations, 2015 is the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. IYOL has a number of inspirational objectives including reducing light pollution and energy waste, enthusing young people with the excitement of light science and promoting sustainable lighting in the developing world. In the UK, a uniquely wide range of institutions and individuals are working together to celebrate the Year, representing fields where light is key to current and future advances, from astronomy to medicine, and fibre optics to art and culture.

The UK is a world leader in photonics – the science and technology of light – and 2015 marks a number of significant scientific anniversaries including the electromagnetic theory of light proposed by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1865 and the transmission of light in fibres for optical communication demonstrated by Sir Charles Kao in 1965.  

3. The Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.

In February 2015, we launched our new five-year strategy –

Visit us at or follow us on Twitter @physicsnews

4. About LIGHT2015

LIGHT2015 is a European project funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Commission. It aims to promote the importance of photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public in all Member States of the EU during the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015).




5. About Leiden Observatory

Leiden Observatory is part of Leiden University, one of Europe’s foremost research universities and lead institute of the iSPEX project. Its astronomical instrumentation researchers have developed the iSPEX smartphone add-on. Leiden Observatory is the world’s oldest university observatory and is one of the world’s leading astronomical institutes with over 25 faculty and over 70 PhD students.


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