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Speaker Database

We are very grateful to the following volunteers who have confirmed their willingness to support International Day of Light events and activities by speaking on a wide range of topics including science, technology, art, culture, education and  development.  Please note that while speakers will volunteer their time, all travel and local expenses must be met by event organisers.  In addition, speakers may be in heavy demand during the month of May, but since International Day of Light themed events can be held throughout the year, you should feel free to make contact to enquire about availability at other times.  

Azzedine Boudrioua

Professor at the University of Paris 13

Website

Speaking Topics:  History of Optics particularly the Islamic Golden Age and the works of Ibn Al-Haytham; Advanced topics in optoelectronics and photonics; Education and Development. 

Lectures in English, French, Arabic.

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at boudrioua@univ-paris13.fr 

Ana María Cetto 

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Instituto de Física

Website

Speaking Topics:  International Science Advocacy; Light and the environment; Exhibitions on light and science; Science for Peace; Foundations of Physics (interaction of light with matter).  

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at ana@fisica.unam.mx

John Dudley

Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté

Website

Speaking Topics:  International Day of Light overview; International Science Advocacy; Photonics & Society; Live Science Lectures;  General lectures on various aspects of photonic science and technology; careers etc.  Lectures in English, French.

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at john.dudley@univ-fcomte.fr

Charles Falco 

University of Arizona 

Website

Speaking Topics:  The Science of Optics - The History of Art;  The Art and Science of Motorcycles.

Contact via IDL Secretariat or directly at falco@email.arizona.edu

 

Andrew Forbes

School of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Website

Speaking Topics:  Various topics in photonics, quantum optics, structured light; Optics in Africa.

Contact directly at andrew.forbes@wits.ac.za 

 

Prajna Khanna 

Corporate Social Responsibility/Director Signify Foundation

Website

Speaking Topics: Solar lighting for Off-grid communities, the role of business in addressing SDGs, pivoting traditional developmental models to impact investing  

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at prajna.khanna@signify.com

 

Jorge Rivero Gonzalez

Leiden University and International Astronomical Union

Speaking Topics: Astronomy for Development, Astronomy, Education, Light Pollution, Outreach.  Will also serve as contact Point to help identify speakers on diverse topics relating to astronomy-related subjects.   

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at rivero@strw.leidenuniv.nl

 

Saurabh Narang

Award-winning Photographer

Website

Speaking Topics: Chasing Light Worldwide, Photographic Adventures in the Wild, Role of Light in Storytelling.    

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at saurabh.narang12@gmail.com

 

Joe Niemela 

International Centre for Theoretical Physics UNESCO-ICTP 

Speaking Topics: Education, Science in Developing Countries, Science for Sustainable Development

Contact via the IDL Secretariat  or directly niemela@ictp.it   

John O’Hagan

International Commission on Illumination/Public Health England

Speaking Topics:  Light and Health, Laser Safety

Contact directly at john.ohagan@phe.gov.uk 

Krisinda Plenkovich

Director for Education & Community Services: The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)

Website

Speaking Topics: Photonics for Sustainable Development, Gender Equity, SPIE Education and Outreach Projects

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at krisindap@spie.org    

 

Roberta Ramponi 

Director of the CNR Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies

Professor of Physics at the Politecnico di Milano 

President of the International Commission for Optics

Website

Speaking Topics:  General lectures on various aspects of photonic science and technology, as well as talks on the Promotion and Dissemination of Optics and Photonics, International Networks etc. 

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at roberta.ramponi@polimi.it  

 

Pedro Russo

Leiden University and International Astronomical Union

Speaking Topics: Astronomy for Development, Astronomy, Education, Light Pollution, Outreach.  Will also serve as contact Point to help identify speakers on diverse topics relating to astronomy-related subjects.   

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at russo@strw.leidenuniv.nl

Cather Simpson

Professor of Physics and Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland

Speaking Topics: Photonics for Sustainable Development, Entrepreneurship, Ultrafast Science and Technology, Education and Outreach, Women in Science.  

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at c.simpson@auckland.ac.nz  

Jess Wade

Postdoctoral Physicist at Imperial College London

Website

Speaking Topics:   Diversity in Science, Challenging Stereotypes, New materials for light emitting diodes.

Contact via the IDL Secretariat or directly at jessica.wade@imperial.ac.uk

 

Rachel Won

International Editor, Nature Photonics

Website

Speaking Topics: Scientific Publishing, Manuscript Writing, Careers, Women in Science 

Contact directly at r.won@nature.com   

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