International Day of Light 2021

14 May 2021

To mark this year’s International Day of Light, UNESCO is calling on people to sign up to the #TrustScience pledge.


This Sunday 16 May marks the International Day of Light, an annual and global initiative for the celebration and appreciation of light and the role it plays in all areas of our lives. The UNESCO initiative is held on 16 May annually, to coincide with the anniversary of the first successful operation of a laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer Theodore Maiman.

This year UNESCO's theme for the International Day of Light is #TrustScience. In a world where the impacts of climate change are becoming more acute every day and when global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are demonstrating the practical and vital impact science can have, trusting in the scientific process is more important than ever before.

UNESCO are asking for people to sign up to the #TrustScience pledge, a worldwide campaign to promote support for the scientific process and to acknowledge the many benefits of science for society. You can show your support by signing the pledge.

The IOP has long been an advocate for further research and innovation funding into photonics and light-based technologies. We were a founding partner of the International Year of Light in 2015, which took place across 148 different countries and significantly raised the profile of this hugely beneficial but often overlooked technology.

Read more about our research into the health of photonics.

Image courtesy of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.