The International year of light 2015 (IYL2015): opportunities & dissemination in the UK
Astronomy Outreach and Public Engagement in the 21st Century
Lucia Marchetti
The Open University
By proclaiming the IYL2015, the United Nations recognizes the importance of light and light based technology in the lives of world’s citizens and for the development of global society. Light and application of light technology are vital for existing and future advances in many scientific areas (from medicine to information & communication technology) and culture. Light is a key element in Astronomy: it is what we study and makes our science possible, but it is also what threatens our observations when it is set-off from the ground (light pollution). The IYL represents a magnificent opportunity for the global Astronomy community to disseminate these messages and raise the awareness of the importance and preservation of dark skies for heritage and the natural environment. Nevertheless the IYL2015 involves many different scientific disciplines and arts, aiming to reach a global public and impact. This broad scenario therefore is both an opportunity and a challenge for the astronomy community and demands an effective use of worldwide communication, online resources and citizen & science experiments to engage the public locally, nationally and globally in a multidisciplinary framework. Many initiatives are taking place during the year. As chair of the education & outreach working group within the UK IYL National committee and coordinator of the Open University Gold Sponsorship in the year, in my talk I will give an overview of the IYL UK and global plan of activities and I will present some Open University online initiatives to promote IYL science/astronomy outreach.


09:00 - 10:30