Dear Supporters of the International Day of Light,

It is a tremendous pleasure to be sending you this newsletter on the 16 May 2022, the International Day of Light (IDL).  We are excited to share a range of updates to highlight the incredible range of activities planned, and to help you get involved with the celebrations over the coming days. As we are writing this, over 300 events of all kind are being planned in 67 countries and worldwide.

On the occasion of the International Day of Light 2022, we are honoured to receive a special message from the Director General of UNESCO reminding us of the universality of light in life and society. This message is available in English here, and it can also be downloaded in all the official United Nations languages from the UNESCO website.

Our website is the easiest way to get an overview of the hundreds of events taking place. The International Day of Light is a unique celebration that brings together many different communities around the commom theme of light. And this is reflected in the diversity of actions scheduled for today, as well as those that have already taken place, and those planned for the future. From small events in schools to live-streamed conferences reaching thousands (or more!) the International Day of Light is an example of public outreach and science communication on a truly global scale.  We are of course very grateful for the continued commitment and support from the Steering Committee and other partners, and the guidance and oversight from the UNESCO Science Sector.

Even if you have forgotten to register in advance, you can let us know after the event as well! No event is too small – anything you can do to help achieve the aims of the International Day of Light is extremely valuable. We will add it to the calendar, and that will ensure your contribution is not forgotten. You can register any activities here.

As you plan, we encourage you all to continue following and engaging with our social media channels using the hashtags #LightDay2022 and #IDL2022, and through the official channels: @IDLOfficial on Twitter, @DayOfLight2022 on Instagram, and @InternationalDayOfLight on Facebook.

We hope you have a wonderful International Day of Light! 

John Dudley and Joseph Niemela
IDL 2022 Steering Committee Chairs

Geethu Paulose
IDL Communications Coordinator

IDL 2022 Banner for Social Media
This year we have designed a special banner for you to share on social media and to celebrate IDL2022 with the world. Visit our resources page where you can download IDL 2022 banners for various social media platforms. And don't forget, when you share images or post on social media, to tag us or to use #IDL2022 or #LightDay2022 as hashtags.  

Dialogue on Light, Peace & the SESAME Anniversary

The Mexican National Node for the International Day of Light 2022 will be celebrating the 2022 edition with an online dialogue between physicist Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS and Professor Ana María Cetto of UNAM's Physics Institute. The key themes covered will relate to the vision of the International Day of Light, the aims of the International Day of Living Together in Peace, and the 5th anniversary of the official opening of the SESAME synchrotron.  This dialogue is presented by the Centre for Mexican Studies, UNAM-UK at King’s College London, in collaboration with the Instituto de Física and DGDC (UNAM), the International Day of Light Mexico Node, and Oxford University. 

Both Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS and Professor Ana María Cetto are highly distinguished award-winning scientists with extensive experience in science collaboration and science diplomacy. Participation is free but registration is required. Full speaker biographies and registration information are available here. The dialogue will take place on the International Day of Light 16 May 2022, 17:30 CEST. 


María Teresa Pérez de Celis Herrero

Image Credits: UNAM UK - Centre for Mexican Studies

The Spanish National University of Distance Education and IDL in Spain

The Spanish National University of Distance Education (UNED) is a public university that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Since 2015, it collaborates in disseminating the activities of the International Year of Light and, since 2018, the activities of the IDL.
Every year, UNED records radio and TV programmes related to the IDL, which are broadcast shortly prior to May 16th. Along these years, a total of 7 TV programmes have been broadcast through the national second channel (La 2 de TVE), and through the International Channel and other local channels. In addition, other 10 radio programmes have been broadcast though Radio 3 - RNE (Radio Nacional de España). These programmes are available through the Spanish IDL website, through the UNED institutional repository, as well as in the National Spanish Radio and TV repository  This year, another radio broadcast of approximately thirty minutes was held on April 30th, entitled “The International Day of Light 2022”, that can be downloaded here.


Carmen Carreras
Juan Pedro Sánchez

Image Credits: UNED

The International Day of Light in Aotearoa New Zealand 

Scientists from the University of Auckland and the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies hosted a range of activities to celebrate the International Day of Light on May 1st and May 14th. Activities on May 1st were hosted at the Museum of Transport and Technology Auckland | MOTAT where a range of interactive science exhibits were available for families to enjoy.  A Camera Obscura was available to see MOTAT in a different light and local researchers were on hand to talk to the public about light and lasers and their cutting edge research.  On May 14th, an International Day of Light Science Fair at Papakura Museum in South Auckland took place with a similar range of displays and activities for all ages, and other events over the weekend before the International Day of Light also took place in the South Island of New Zealand in Balclutha Library and the Otago Museum.  

The Dodd-Walls Centre has a strong commitment to public outreach and science communication, and frequently organises events throughout the country in collaboration with local partners and schools. 

Sara Miller

Image Credits: Andy Wang

SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest 2022

The SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest is held annually to raise awareness about the International Day of Light, and to demonstrate the impact light has on cultural, economic, and political aspects of our global society. Amateur and professional photographers alike are encouraged to submit photos for a chance to win cash prizes. Photographers age 13 to 17 should submit their images to the Youth Photo Contest. The theme of the photo contest is A World of Light: The Vital Role That Light and Light-Based Technologies Play in Daily Life. Examples of content can include the properties of light, light technology, light images, people interacting with light, light and sustainable development, and more. The 2022 SPIE IDL Photo Contest runs from 16 May 2022 to 16 September 2022.  Please see the Contest Page for more information. 


Image Credits: SPIE and Anh Bach Thi.

Optica Foundation 20th Anniversary Challenge

The Optica Foundation 20th Anniversary challenge (#OpticaFoundationChallenge) is a competition for early-career researchers to propose optics and photonics-enabled solutions to one of several societal challenges chosen by the selection committee. Celebrate #LightDay2022 by sharing your idea or ideas about how optics and photonics could be used to improve quality of life worldwide. Your concept could inspire the official challenge questions with 10 proposals sharing a total of US$100K prizes. Please visit for more information.

Image Credits: Optica

CIE Tutorials announced for 2022-2023

The International Commission on Illumination - also known as the CIE from its French title, the Commission Internationale de l´Eclairage - is devoted to worldwide cooperation and the exchange of information on all matters relating to the science and art of light and lighting, colour and vision, photobiology and image technology. With strong technical, scientific and cultural foundations, the CIE is an independent, non-profit organisation that serves member countries on a voluntary basis. Since its inception in 1913, the CIE has become a professional organisation and has been accepted as representing the best authority on the subject and as such is recognised by ISO as an international standardisation body.

An important component of CIE's activities is education, and a number of tutorials run by its Divisions are being planned for 2022 and 2023.  Division-led tutorials aim to provide an understanding and application of CIE documents, and those in the planning cover a wide range of topics including colorimetry, metrology of photobiological effects, indoor and outdoor lighting.  You can learn more about these tutorial plans on the CIE website, and note that there is also a survey underway to gauge the needs of the CIE community for future topics. 

CIE Central Bureau

Canada Celebrates the International Day of Light

IDL Canada’s campaign for the appreciation of light is dedicated to uniting and inspiring participants all around Canada to acknowledge the significant impact of light in fields as diverse as medicine, education, communications, entertainment, and sustainable development. IDL Canada will be promoting light during May 2022 through videos from leading scientists and researchers, DIY at-home experiments, special content and videos about the use of light in astronomy and various optics phenomena, and much more! Material will cater to students at all levels of education, ranging from elementary school all the way to university, and will be shared on various social media platforms: @IDLCanada – on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #IDL2022, #IDLCanada, #LightDay2022 and #CAPhys

In addition to the month-long celebration of light over social media, IDL Canada will be participating in Youth Science Canada’s STEM Expo held concurrently with the Canada-Wide Science Fair (#CWSF) from May 18-20. IDL Canada’s virtual exhibit will feature content highlighting Canada’s leadership in Optics and Photonics, the use of light in modern science, the integration of light in art and culture, light in the world around us, as well as various demonstrations, interactive simulations, and at-home experiment ideas. Content will be shared in both national languages. Live sessions will also take place over Gather.Town from May 18-20 in which students will be able to engage with optical scientists, answer trivia questions and enter a prize raffle —in real time! 

For questions about IDL Canada’s events this year, please visit the Canadian IDL website or use the contact details below. 

IDL Canada

International Day of Light Events All Year!

Even if you have forgotten to register in advance or if your activity is planned for another time of the year, you can still register your events on the International Day of Light calendar here. One of the important goals of the International Day of Light is to create and maintain a global community committed to science outreach, and registration is important to give your efforts and committment the visibility they deserve. No event is too small! 

IDL 2022 Celebrations by the Zaheer Science Foundation

The Zaheer Science Foundation is a non-profit organisation established in 1970 as an NGO (Think Tank), to help in nation-building by conducting research in science, technology and development studies; promoting scientific and technological exchange of information, advanced training between India and other countries; organising seminars and symposia, and publishing activities related to the objectives of the Foundation.  It is named after Dr. Husain Zaheer, a freedom fighter and Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi during 1961-1966. In the past, the Foundation had been organising International workshops, scientists’ conclaves, and training programmes in collaboration with UNESCO and other organisations on themes related to science & technology policy and innovation, science diplomacy and training programmes for working professionals and students. This year, the Foundation is organising the following hybrid events as part of the UNESCO’s International Day of Light 2022 celebrations: 

16 August 2022: Workshop on Disruption of Education during the Covid-19 Pandemic & Solutions
26-30 September 2022: Training on Scientific Film Making Using Mobile Phones
7 November 2022: Conclave on Science Diplomacy, with focus on “Science for Small Nations”

The themes of education disruption and climate change are especially relevant to the present time for all countries.  The last two years have seen more than 1.5 billion learners affected due to the lockdowns (fully or partially) around the world. Some estimates predict that 10 million children will never return to school. Yet at the same time, the pandemic has also accelerated adoption of videoconferencing, online learning and the use of smartphones in education. The overall objective of the Zaheer Science Foundation during its IDL2022 events will be to discuss the best ways to apply these developments in order to empower students into science-related careers, and to promote a more scientifically literate society.  


Dr. Harsh Gupta, Chairman, Zaheer Science Foundation.
Prof. Zahid H. Khan, Vice Chairman, Zaheer Science Foundation and National Node for India for IDL 2022.   
Dr. Tabassum Jamal, Secretary, Zaheer Science Foundation.

Image Credits:  Zaheer Science Foundation

Organise James Webb Space Telescope Events! 
At the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope lies a host of #optics and #photonics technologies and instrumentation that will allow Webb to see light from the very early universe for the very first time. We welcome the IDL community to organise events that celebrate the continued scientific and technological success of Webb for #LightDay2022. Use #IDLWebb to give focus to your IDL events that includes Webb.

Optics School at ICTP for the International Day of Light

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), a category 1 UNESCO institute has been serving the needs of students and researchers from developing countries for more than 50 years. Through a range of courses and fellowships, ICTP's mission is to foster the growth of advanced studies and research in science around the world. From May 16 to 19, ICTP is offering online lectures on the theory and applications of ​Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). Lidar is a remote sensing method that is growing rapidly as a method of generating three-dimensional images in applications as diverse as climate science, archaeology, fisheries, and autonomous vehicle navigation, with an important role in helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The course is organised by Prof. Joseph Shaw, Montana State University (MSU) and Director of its Optical Technology Center (OpTeC). Joe is also a member of the Board of Directors of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. Joining him will be John Howell from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and current President of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) and W.R. Babbitt, also MSU. The event will begin with a session dedicated to the International Day of Light on the 16th, with three speakers—Imrana Ashraf (Quaid-i-Asam University, Pakistan), John Fredy Barerra ( Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia) and Humberto Cabrera (Coordinator, ICTP-UNESCO Optics Laboratory)-- showcasing their experience and best practices in outreach and research training for students and early career scientists in developing countries. More details here.  

Joe Niemela, ICTP

International Day of Light in Serbia

As part of the celebration of the International Day of Light in Serbia and the celebration of the International Year of Glass, artist Srdjan Stefanovic is organising the exhibition 'SPARK'. Inspired by childhood memories at the foot of the Lovćen mountain, enchanted by nature and the book Luča Mikrokozma, the artist wanted to discover the secret of light and the microcosm. As a result of three years of research, he created a cycle he called 'Spark'.  His paintings are based on earth, from different parts of the world, pigment and glass. Light is his greatest inspiration, and it moves him. And glass is just a conductor over earth and paint.  The exhibition opened on May 12 at the Gallery mts Dvorane in Belgrade, Serbia.

Zorica Matic (IDL Serbia)

Image Credits: Srdjan Stefanovic.

Lunar Eclipse & Dark Skies a Focus for the International Day of Light in Chile

Events in Chile for the International Day of Light will be focussing both on the observation of the total lunar eclipse on the evening of 15-16 May, as well as talks on the preservation of dark skies. In particular, there will be a live broadcast of the lunar eclipse by Astrofotografía Chile in which the Office for the Protection of the Sky of Northern Chile (OPCC) will present the Day of the Light initiative. There will also be a special lecture where Casiana Muñoz, Deputy Director of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias will present efforts to protect the night sky of the Canary Islands as well as describe other related International initiatives. 

An additional conference on light pollution and its effects will be held as a joint event between the International Day of Light (May 16) and the World Migratory Bird Day (May 14). Organised by the Ministry for the Natural Environment, the aim is to raise awareness of the impact of artificial light on the environment.  Full details can be found at the registration page.

Pedro Sanhueza, OPCC
Felipe Loaiza, Ministerio del Medio Ambiente Chile

Image Credits: OPCC 

IDL is on Instagram! 

The International Day of Light launched an Instagram page in 2020 and this channel will continue to be used for updates about #LightDay2022! Follow @DayOfLight2022 for updates about about the next Day Of Light in May 2022, including news and announcements, as well as a special collection of photography that features the role and beauty of light in our daily lives!

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International Day of Light Secretariat · Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics ICTP · Str. Costiera 11 · Trieste, TS 34151 · Italy

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