Germany closes the IYL 2015 activities with a Ceremony in Berlin

The national closing event of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) in Germany was held in Berlin on 27 November 2015.

Once again the focus was on the four aspects of Technology, Science, Nature and Culture.

More than 100 organisations from 85 countries had taken initiatives; the German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, DPG) co-ordinated all activities in Germany. Roland Bernecker, Secretary General of the German Commission for UNESCO: “Germany has been the source of major impetuses for everyone involved”, he said, praising Andreas Buchleitner, the Chairman of the German Committee for the IYL 2015, and Bernhard Nunner, the Chief Executive of the DPG, for their considerable commitment. “It is a great pleasure to be associated with such a strong partner in implementing the IYL 2015”, he said.

Arnulf Quadt, the DPG Executive Board member responsible for PR, explained: “Our understanding of the task was to include the IYL 2015 in every issue and population group. We wanted to motivate people and make the case for them organising their own events.” The internet-based event calendar of the German Physical Society lists 700 events nationwide by the end of 2015. What was surprising was not just the number of activities but also their diversity and innovativeness: stargazer hikes and readings, experiments for the youngest, and pupil competitions, concerts, science slams and light installations.

“Our aim is to use the Year of Light to make young people and the general public passionate about new technologies”, DPG President Edward G. Krubasik had said at the opening event in Munich. A prime example of successful PR was undoubtedly the “Highlights of Physics” science festival, held in Jena, Germany, in 2015 on the topic of “Light Shows”. Hands-on exhibitions and workshops, stage shows and presentations informed the visitors of current research in an entertaining way with many Aha! effects. The IYL 2015 in Germany is also ending in an inventive and playful way: each of the 24 experiments of “PiA – Physics in Advent” focuses on the subject of light.

“Without exaggeration we can say that nowhere in the world was the IYL 2015 staged so dynamically and diversely as in Germany”, enthused Secretary General of the German Commission for UNESCO, Roland Bernecker, at the closing event. No doubt that is due to the long tradition of the excellent optical industry in Germany. At the same time there continues to be intensive research into photonics and light technologies.
All the speakers agreed that the IYL 2015 will strengthen the co-operation between research and industry in the long run. A common interest is training junior scientists. Each and every one of the events and campaigns co-ordinated by the DPG reached out to young people to make them passionate about physical phenomena. The closing event made it clear once more that the impetus given must extend beyond 2015 to enable Germany and Europe to continue to make significant academic and technological contributions.
For more information visit the German IYL 2015 official website.

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