Lightfest 2015 celebrates International Year of Light

Lightfest 2015

2 September 2015

On 25 September, the Library of Birmingham will play host to Lightfest 2015, a series of events organised by Aston University celebrating how the science of light plays an integral role in our lives. 

The day will include short films curated by the talented team behind the Flatpack Festival, an installation by artist Chris Plant, and workshops, demonstrations and public lectures led by researchers from Aston University. 

Not only will the region's schools and the general public be able to see a variety of exciting light technology, they will also be able to fully interact with it. With free entry for all, visitors will be able to explore Birmingham's canals with a laser microscope, test their musical skills on a laser harp, assess their general health through fingerprint recognition scans and measure the thickness of a human hair.

The day’s lecture series will bring together experts from a range of fields, talking about light science and technology from an unparalleled variety of perspectives. Professor Andrew Ellis of the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies will explain how optical fibres connect us all together, while Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock from the BBC’s The Sky at Night programme will showcase five amazing photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Professor Alessandro Farini from the University of Florence will also talk about how our brains interpret light and the indivisible relationship between light and art. 

Professor Sergei Turitsyn of Aston University’s Engineering and Applied Science, who is co-organizing the event, said:  “Light science is the foundation for the smartphones in our pockets, the tools of our manufacturing industry and many of the latest medical advancements. Lightfest 2015, part of the UNESCO International Year of Light, is a great opportunity to learn about technology that’s all around us. 

“There’s something to enjoy for people of all ages, and plenty to get your hands on with our workshops and demonstrations where you can learn by getting involved. We’d invite everyone to come down to the Library of Birmingham to find out what light science and the Year of Light is all about.” 

Lightfest 2015 is being held on Friday 25 September 2015 at the Library of Birmingham. The event is being funded by the European Commission as part of European Researchers’ Night, an event which takes place simultaneously in hundreds of cities across Europe. 

For more information, including a full programme of events and booking details for workshops and public lectures, please visit the website: 



For further information please contact Arlen Pettitt:


Telephone: 0207 089 2090 

Notes to editors: 

Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led University known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce. Professor Dame Julia Kingbecame Vice-Chancellor of the University in 2006. Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and the University is currently ranked in the top 25 for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

This European Researchers ‘Night project' is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions. Grant Agreement no 633155.