Discussing light, its applications and its impacts on culture and modern society, highlighting the role of science and technology as the solid foundations for social and human development features among the goals of the Let There be Light: Dialogues about Light conference taking place on December 15th at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation within the scope of commemorations of the International Year of Light.
Co-organised by the Portuguese Physics Society and by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, this conference gathers scientists, educators, writers, artists, doctors, architects and other professionals from across the fields of science, culture and the arts in a multidisciplinary environment. The Physics Nobel laureate Roy Glauber opens the conference with his speech at 9pm. The emeritus professor at the University of Harvard was distinguished by the Swedish Royal Academy of Science in 2005 for his theoretical description of the behaviour of light particles and that contributed to the Quantum Theory of Optical Coherence. Throughout the 15th, there are sessions dedicated to light in science and in engineering, in life and in medicine and in science and in art, coming to a close with a round table debate on Light, Art, Science and Technology. Among the speakers are Luís Oliveira e Silva (Higher Tec. Inst., University of Lisbon, IST-UL), Paulo André (ISTUL), Uwe Oelfke (Institute of Cancer Research, London), Teresa Paiva (CENC – Centre of Dreams), Jorge Calado (IST-UL), Alessandro Farini (Laboratorio di Ergonomia della Visione, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Florence), Henrique Leitão (Fac. Science, UL), the photographer José Manuel Rodrigues (Uni. of Évora) in addition to the art historian Pedro Redol (Monastery of Batalha).
The importance of raising global awareness about the ways in which light based technologies foster sustainable development and generate solutions to global challenges gained recognition from the United Nations General Assembly when proclaiming 2015 as the International Year dedicated to the sciences of light and their applications. In Portugal, the commemorations include other initiatives such as the exhibition The Light of Lisbon that may be viewed through to December 20th at the Museum of Lisbon (Torreão Poente, Terreiro do Paço). The Let There be Light: Dialogues about Light conference is free entry subject to prior registration up to and including December 12th.