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First plans announced for International Day of Light inauguration at UNESCO on 16 May 2018

UNESCO will inaugurate the first International Day of Light at their headquarters in Paris, France, on 16 May 2018.  In addition to the many events taking place worldwide on this day, the flagship inauguration in Paris will bring together an international group of participants to both raise awareness of the many ways that light impacts on modern society, and to consider how advances in light-based science and technology can aid in achieving goals in education and sustainable development.  The inauguration will run from 2–10pm during the afternoon and evening of 16 May, and attendees and guests will include science and industry leaders, national delegates and sponsors, diplomats and decision-makers from across the globe, science enthusiasts, and students.

Lectures, symposia and round-tables will cover areas of basic science, light in architecture and culture, international collaborations, science policy, and more. Keynote speakers include Nobel laureates Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and Kip Thorne, and the programme will also include contributions by: María Teresa Ruiz (l’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science laureate); Victor Palacio (President of the International Association of Lighting Designers); Luiz Davidovich (President of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences); Roberta Ramponi (President of the International Commission of Optics); Tuan Vo Dinh (Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering); Charlotte Warakaulle (Director of International Relations at CERN); Sir Peter Gluckman (Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand); Heide Hackmann (Executive Director of the International Council for Science); Harry Verhaar (Head of Global Public & Government Affairs, Philips Lighting); other representatives from the public and private sector, as well as speakers from SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) and UNESCO’s Associated Schools Programme network. The inauguration will include specially-commissioned musical performances by soprano Katerina Mina during the  opening and closing sessions, as well as light painting displays, an exhibit from the Mexican Museum of Light, the PYRAMIDIONS interactive light sculpture, a live photonics science show, and will also be accompanied by both interior and exterior display installations to highlight the unifying power of light.

Information on how you can RSVP to the inauguration will be available in January 2018.  For specific inquiries about attendance or for information on sponsorship and support opportunities, please contact


John Dudley                                

IDL 2018 Steering Committee Chair


Jean-Paul Ngome Abiaga     

International Basic Sciences Programme



Jorge Rivero González

International Day of Light Secretariat & Press Officer

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