Dr Anne-Maria Brennan calls for scientists and science students to engage as a global community
22 June 2015
Anne-Maria Brennan called for scientists, students of science and policy
makers to come together as a community after the United Nations proclaimed 2015
as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015).
Dr Anne-Maria Brennan - who is a member of the
Parliamentary and Scientific Committee - shared her views in the Science in
Parliament journal and stated why she believes the IYL 2015 announcement
sends out an important message to policy makers and scientific advisors
Brennan highlighted the example of scientist
and philosopher Ibn Al-Haytham, who was born in Basra in 965AD and considered the
founder of the science of optics.
Writing in Science in Parliament, Dr Brennan
states: "It's not every day that you get to celebrate a millennium, but
2015 represents the 1000th anniversary of the publication of Kitab
Al-Manzir (The Book of Optics). The book was just one of over 200 written by
Ibn Al-Haytham which has survived and gone on to become one of the key works in
establishing the science of optics. It is for that reason that the Ibn
Al-Haytham initiative has become the focal point for the International Year of
"Many scientists have used Ibn Al-Haytham's
work as an example to inspire the scientific community, and young students of
science in particular, to engage as a global community. There are other
valuable lessons in the story of Ibn Al-Haytham. Today, the word Basra conjures
up images of war and instability, yet scientific heritage shows that this was
not always the case. In this way it provides a positive role model of a young
scientist who, as a citizen of the world, challenged adversity in his continued
pursuit of knowledge."
The International Year of Light 2015 will promote improved
understanding of the central role of light in science, from the first studies
of optics 1000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power
the Internet today.