15 September 2014

Help Kick Off the International Year of Light in Seattle!

Constance Walker NSF's NOIRLab / IAU CPS

The United Nations-sanctioned International Year of Light (IYL 2015) is a global initiative for next year that will highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society.

IYL 2015 is a unique opportunity to inspire, educate, and connect scientists and engineers with the public on a global scale and is especially well suited to the astronomy and astronomy-education communities. Accordingly, we invite you to submit an abstract for the January 2015 meeting that focuses on IYL-relevant events, programs, or projects that our community members could create, host, or borrow from existing resources during the International Year of Light.

Following in the footsteps of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009), three projects are emerging under the IYL 2015 "Cosmic Light" cornerstone theme: Cosmic Light Awareness, the Galileoscope, and Light: Beyond the Bulb. Each of these continues the legacy of IYA.

Cosmic Light Awareness aims 1) to raise awareness of dark skies and light as a cosmic messenger in the education and astronomy communities by providing teaching kits like the Quality Lighting Teaching Kit, smartphone apps, video tutorials, Google+ Q&A Hangouts, and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses); 2) to involve members of the public in the science process through citizen-science initiatives like Globe at Night; encourage organizations, institutions, and local, regional, and national governments to approve preservation laws for dark skies; and 3) to bring the issues of the natural environment and energy preservation to the agenda of decision makers.

Light: Beyond the Bulb's worldwide traveling exhibits of images related to light in nature, astronomy, and dark skies, along with another round of worldwide dissemination of the Galileoscope educational refractor kit to formal and informal science educators and their students, will broaden appreciation of celestial wonders and the power of optics to create and capture images.

Note: To ensure that your abstract is properly sorted with the other IYL abstracts, please enter the following information when submitting your abstract:

  1. Submission type: “History OR Education Submission”
  2. Presentation type: "History and Education"
  3. Session type: “History/Education Oral Session” or “History/Education Poster Session”
  4. Category: “81. Education Public Outreach”
  5. Secondary category: "None selected" or whichever other choice makes the most sense to you

In addition, please add the following comment in the Special Instructions box: “Please sort with IYL abstracts.”