Duke of York to be Patron of International Year of Light

17 July 2014

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is delighted to announce that the Duke of York has agreed to become Patron of the International Year of Light in the UK.

International Year of Light 2015

The International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015) is a United Nations initiative to raise awareness of the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in our daily lives.  

In the UK, the IOP is leading a national committee for IYL2015, including a wide range of organisations with an interest in light and its applications, from the photonics and lighting industries to the arts and culture communities.  

Welcoming the Duke of York as Patron of IYL2015 in the UK, Dr Frances Saunders, President of IOP, said, “On behalf of the national committee, I am delighted that the Duke of York has agreed to be our Patron. We could not hope for a better or more supportive friend. He has already shown his support for science in the UK and in particular an interest in the photonics industry, a real UK success story worth an annual £10.5 billion to the economy and with a growing, high-tech export market, and I know that he is equally enthusiastic about the wider aspirations for the year.”

2015 was chosen as the International Year of Light because it marks a significant anniversary of many key discoveries, starting with the first ever work on optics by Islamic scholar Ibn Al-Haytham in 1015.  

These anniversaries include the outstanding achievements of two British scientists: the electromagnetic theory of light propagation proposed by James Clerk Maxwell in 1865, and Charles Kao’s demonstration in 1965 of the transmission of light in fibres for optical communications.  

IYL2015 aims to enthuse young people about science. Additional goals are to support women in scientific careers, and to accelerate the distribution of solar lighting in rural communities in Africa through the Study After Sunset programme.

For more information on IYL2015, see http://light2015blog.org

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