Women in Light Science exhibition in Spain

The Spanish Society of Optics and the Women in Physics Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Physics organize the exhibition “Women in Light Science” in Salamanca, Spain, on 1-4 September. The exhibition celebrates the scientific contribution of 12 women researchers who have contributed to fundamental discoveries in Optics and Photonics.

 

Two of the objectives of the United Nations in the Declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) are “to promote women's empowerment in science” and “to promote education amongst young people”. Following both lines, the organizers have composed an exhibition with the life aspects and scientific contribution of 12 women researchers who have contributed to fundamental discoveries in Optics and Photonics. Making those women and their contributions visible we help to create female models for future generations, especially for young female students.

Thanks to Madame de Châtelet's learnings and her translation of Newton’s Principia Mathematica the theories of Newton were reported. Martha Coston invented the Coston flare, a device for signaling at sea that contributed to save many lives. Henrietta Swan Leavitt discovered the way to know the size of our Galaxy and the scale of the universe. Hedwig Kohn made a meticulous work in spectrometry and pyrometry, both considered as illumination standards nowadays. Katherine Burr Blodgett invented the low-reflectance "invisible" glass. Yvette Cauchois created an X-ray spectrograph used to discover new elements of the periodic system. Maria Goeppert Mayer understood physics by photons. Marie Luise Spaeth invented the dye-laser and the developments of laser rangefinder. Rosalind Franklin registered famous Photo 51 identifying the helical structure of DNA. Martha Jane Bergin Thomas was a pioneering genius in the field of lighting research and was dedicated to the application of phosphors technology toward the advancements in electricity. Jean Mcpherson Bennet realized precise methods for measuring optical surfaces. Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered the first pulsar.

The exhibition opening will take place in the opening ceremony of the XI Spanish National Meeting in Optics that will be held in Salamanca, Spain, on 1-4 September.

The exhibition has been sponsored by Spanish Society of Optics (SEDOPTICA), the Women in Physic Group of the Royal Spanish Society of Physics (RSEF), the Gender Commission of University of Valencia, the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Association of Scientific and Technologist Women (AMIT) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).

For more information about IYL 2015 activities in Spain, please check the IYL 2015 Spanish National website.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the lightsources.org International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.

Contacts

Pascuala García Martínez
Chair Women in Physics Group
Spanish Royal Society of Physics
pascuala.garcia@uv.es

Sergio Barbero
Secretariat of the Spanish Committee for the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015
luz2015.sedoptica@csic.es

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015
john.dudley@univ-fcomte.fr

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015
light2015@ictp.it