IYL 2015 Closing Ceremony announces themes and keynote speakers

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL2015) has been a tremendously successful global initiative with thousands of events reaching millions of people in over a hundred countries. The International Year will be brought to an official close with a ceremony held over three days from 4-6 February 2016 in Mérida, Mexico. The Closing Ceremony will provide a forum to both continue the celebration of light and its many applications in science and society, but also will discuss the achievements of the International Year and look forward to continuing its success in the future. We are delighted to announce preliminary information about topics and speakers.

John Mather (left) and Shuji Nakamura (right).
John Mather (left) and Shuji Nakamura (right).

The programme will be opened by messages from UN, UNESCO and IYL 2015 leaders, and an impressive range of speakers will then contribute over three days in a series of keynote lectures, symposia and round-tables covering areas of basic science, technology, development, lighting solutions in society, art & culture, the history of science, and science policy.

Keynote speakers include Nobel laureates John Mather and Shuji Nakamura.  John Mather is a senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for help us understand better the cosmic microwave background radiation.  Shuji Nakamura is an electronic engineer at the University of California, USA, that won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the blue LED, a major breakthrough in lighting technology.

The programme will also see contributions by leading international speakers including: Gustavo Avilés (Lighteam architectural lighting design studio); Vanderlei Bagnato (University of Sao Paulo); Gihan Kamel (SESAME); Sir Peter Knight (Imperial College London); Noureddine Melikechi (NASA); Hanan Dowidar (1001 Inventions); Víctor Palacio (International Association Lighting Designers); Sir David Payne (University of Southampton); Sir John Pendry (Imperial College London); Lluis Torner (ICFO); Ling-An Wu (Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences); Susana Marcos (Instituto de Optica, CSIC); Jesús Galindo (UNAM); Ismael Arturo Montero Garcia (Conacyt-Universidad del Tepeyac); Andrew Forbes (School of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand); Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Lozano-Hemmer Studio); Marcus Neustetter (Artists and cultural activist); Jakob Mattner (Artist); José Luis Ruvalcaba (IF-UNAM); Austin Nevin (Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche); Liz Peck (Society of Light & Lighting); Beth Taylor (UK National Committee for IYL 2015);  Arturo Velázquez (IEO); Henry Nii-Adziri Wellington (University of Ghana); Maurici Ginés (UPC); Liu XU (College of Optical Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University); Mourad Zghal (University of Carthage); Joseph Niemela (UNESCO-ICTP / IYL 2015 Global Coordinator); Jaya Ramchandani (The Story Of Foundation / Sirius Interactive); Luis Zapata (DESY); Ana MAría Cetto (UNAM); John Dudley (CNRS / IYL 2015 Steering Committee);  Sekazi Mtingwa (Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development); Sibylle Schroer (Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries); Martin Aubé (Physics department of Cégep de Sherbrooke); Silvia Torres-Peimbert (IAU); Eric Swanson (MIT); Satoshi Kawata (Department of Applied Physics at Osaka University); Harry Atwater (DOE Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis) and Prof. J. Antonio del Río (Instituto de Energías Renovables Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).

The Closing Ceremony will also include a film and video festival and an extensive outreach programme that will be open to the general public. A parallel cultural programme will showcase performances and installations from leading light artists, and an optional excursion to the Mayan Archaeological Site of Chichen Itza will also be offered to participants.

For more information please visit the IYL 2015 Closing Ceremony 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.


Ana María Cetto
Chair IYL 2015 Mexican National Committee

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015