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First Plans Announced for UNESCO International Day of Light 2019  

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Under the leadership of UNESCO, the first International Day of Light was celebrated on the 16 May 2018.  Over 640 events took place worldwide in more than 80 countries, kicked off by a spectacular inauguration at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. 


For the celebration of the International Day of Light in 2019, events focusing on all aspects of light science and applications will again be supported.  From the many ways that light is central to sustainable development, activities at all levels and for all ages are strongly encouraged.  A special focus for UNESCO in 2019 will be to promote the use of light science as a means of stimulating young people and women, especially in developing countries, to study science and engineering.  To this end, the International Day of Light on 16 May 2019 will see a one-day conference onIlluminating Educationat the UNESCO Category I Institute ICTP in Trieste, Italy. ICTP Dirac Medallist and Distinguished Visiting Fellow Sir Michael Berrywill deliver a Plenary Lecture on Light in Nature, and this will be followed by thematic sessions covering areas of education, entrepreneurship, career development for young researchers, and the use of light as a lever for sustainable development.  Special international Day of Light activities will also be part of the UNESCO-sponsored Education and Training in Optics (ETOP) conference that will take place in Quebec, Canada from 21-24 May 2019.  


Many other partners are actively preparing their own events for 2019, and events can now be registered for inclusion in the official International Day of Light2019 calendar at  Please note that proved the goals of the International Day of Light are supported, events need not take place on 16 May 2019 to be included in the global calendar.  Sponsorship opportunities for IDL2019 activities are also available, and please contact the International Day of Light Secretariat at for any enquiries.


John Dudley                                

IDL 2018 Steering Committee Chair


Joe Niemela


Trieste, Italy


Bethany Downer

International Day of Light Secretariat & Communications Officer

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