UNESCO proclaims Day of Light

The campaign day will be on May 16, remembering the invention of the laser

The world celebrates light: As of 2018 each year on May 16, the International Day of Light. UNESCO introduced the new campaign day during the session of the General Conference on November 14. It shall be an enduring legacy of the International Year of Light in 2015 and continue the cooperation between science, culture, decision-makers, industry leaders and the public.

That´s happening
Beyond the launch event in Paris there will be numerous local initiatives and activities related to light, lighting and lighting technology. More than 50 nations have already announced to participate. Which countries are already planning their events can be seen on an event map and more details in the calendar. Thematically related events on a different date can also be registered for the Day of Light. The entry in the official web calendar will be in English.

A solution seeking a problem
Mai 16, 1960, the American physicist and engineer Theodore Maiman performed the first successful operation of a laser beam. Back then researchers and contemporaries didn´t see any practical benefits in his invention. Even Maiman himself described it as “a solution seeking a problem”. Over the last 57 years this attitude has completely changed. In the organizers´ statement it says the laser was a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society, such as in communication, healthcare and much more.