SESAME is one of the many to join in celebrations marking the 2021 International Day of Light (IDL) and addressed a message to the IDL in support of the Trust Science campaign, which is the thrust of this year’s event.
The IDL is an annual event celebrated each year on 16 May following the 39th session of UNESCO’s General Conference (autumn of 2017) having proclaimed 16 May as the annual International Day of Light.
16 May is also the anniversary of SESAME since it was on 16 May 2017 that it was officially inaugurated.
The International Day of Light follows on from the International Year of Light in 2015 and provides a platform for continued appreciation of the central role that light plays in the lives of the citizens of the world, in areas of the basic sciences, education, culture and art, sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as communications and energy.
When organizing an International Year of Light was initially proposed, SESAME was one of the first organizations to formally endorse this. It did so in 2011. The year 2015 commemorated a remarkable series of important milestones in the history of the science of light dating back 200, 150, 100 and 50 years. In 1815, Fresnel in France introduced the theory of light as a wave; in 1865, Maxwell in England described the electromagnetic theory of light; in 1915, Einstein in Germany developed General Relativity which confirmed the centrality of light in both space and time; and in 1965, Penzias and Wilson in the United States discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background, an echo of the creation of the universe.
SESAME is on the Steering Committee of the International Day of Light.