ICTP to promote International Year of Light at the 2015 Genoa Science Festival

The Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), one of the Founding Partners of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), will participate in Italy's Genoa Science Festival, sponsoring a session on Light for Humanity. The session will be held on 30 October 2015 during a half-day showcase of international research institutes supported by the Italian Government and the UN and based in Trieste, including The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). The activity is organized in collaboration with Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.


The ICTP session will feature a roundtable discussion on how photonics have evolved over the past century to become indispensible to daily life thanks to their contribution to the development of smart phones, fiber optics and computers. Panelists will include:

  • Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist who, with her thesis advisor, Nobel laureate Antony Hewish, discovered the first pulsar. She is a visiting professor at Oxford University, pro-rector of Trinity College, Dublin, and the first female president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy.
  • Alessandro Farini, lead researcher at the Laboratory of Visual Ergonomics, National Institute of Optics-CNR in Florence and professor at the University of Florence where he teaches photophysics vision and psychophysics. His research work focuses in lighting and ophthalmic optics.
  • Emilia Giorgetti, senior researcher at the Institute for Physics of Complex Systems, CNR, whose research has focused on organic fluorescent materials, metal-dielectric surface interactions, nanomaterials and plasmonics. Since March 2015, she is Scientific Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Mexico City.
  • ICTP Director Fernando Quevedo
  • Linda Wamune, director of SunnyMoney Kenya and the founder and CEO of Brighter Life Kenya, and representative of SolarAid at the UN Climate Summit in New York in September 2014.

You can find here more information on the special session.

The Genoa Science Festival is taking place on 22 October - 1 November 2015 in Genoa, Italy. Lectures, exhibits, workshops, special events and shows for talking about science with an innovative and involving approach, with interactive events and crosscurrent ones. Ten days where the barriers among mathematics, humanities and natural science will be crashed and will be possible to get in touch with the research, to see it and to take part of it.

For more information please visit the Genoa Science Festival website.

Read the original press release from ICTP here.

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.


Mary Ann Williams
Public Information Officer ICTP

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