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2015 is the International Year of Light and Soils. The University of Alicante has planned a series of cultural activities for the months of November and December to celebrate this date. The programme includes four exhibitions, a conference cycle and the First Scientific Experiences Contest, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Culture, Sports and Language Policies, the Faculty of Sciences, the Polytechnic University College and the Institute for Catalan Studies (ICE).

On Wednesday 4 November, an exhibition about the International Year of Light will be opened in the Optics Building of UA’s Faculty of Sciences, where it can be visited until 30 November. The exhibition is made up of several boards and it highlights the role of light and optical technologies in different fields such as medicine, architecture, art, robotics, energy, communication, relativity and quantum physics, astronomy and holography. Besides, it also shows visitors the importance of light in both science and citizens’ quality of life.

From 23 November to 22 December, the Faculty of Sciences will also hold an exhibition about light,optical technologies and female researchers’ contribution to this subject, aimed at showing the work of women in science and upholding the role they play, especially in light studies. This exhibition is part of the activities to celebrate the day of Saint Albertus Magnus, patron saint of Science, and has been developed by the UA’s Gender Equality Unit.

UA Professor of Applied Physics Augusto Beléndez Vázquez, has recorded an explanatory video of this exhibition (see below), along with another one entitled “La luz que nos envuelve” (“The light that surrounds us”), in collaboration with the university’s Image Workshop and the Languages and Culture Service.

Within these activities, we can also enjoy a cycle of conferences. On 12 November, writer Ignacio Moreno will hold an introductory conference about the International Year of Light in the Faculty of Sciences’s Boardroom. at 12:30 p.m. Right afterwards, at 1 p.m., Ramón Lapiedra will give a conference entitled ”Light, relativistic causality, determinism and quantum mechanics, is it all written?”.

Two Valencian writers will also collaborate in this conference cycle. On 26 November, at 8 p.m., Joan Francesc Mira will give the conference “Sun and celestial spheres: Dante’s light paths to Paradise”, in Altamira Room at the Alicante City University Venue (Ramón y Cajal, 4). Last but not least, on 11 December at noon, in the University of Alicante Museum (MUA), Martí Domínguez will talk about light in painting.

International Year of Soils

On 20 December 2013, the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly declared 5 December as World Soil Day and 2015 as the International Year of Soils. Healthy soils are the the basis for food, fuel, fibre and medicinal products, as well as a key element to protect ecosystems. They play an important role in the carbon cycle and in water storing and filtering, and they also help improve our resilience in the face of floods and droughts. According to FAO, “nowadays, more than 805 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Most food depends on soils, hence the importance of keeping them healthy and productive”.

In this sense, from 6 to 30 November the Faculty of Sciences 2 (Trànsit Room) will hold another exhibition about the International Year of Soils, given over by the Spanish Society of Soil Science (SECS) and adapted by the UA so it can travel to high schools in the province of Alicante. Its purpose is to make students aware of the importance of soils as an essential resource for food production, as well as for the preservation of biodiversity and life conditions. After all, soils are a vital resource that we have to study and preserve to ensure life on Earth.

The exhibition is made up of several boards explaining the different conditions of forest soils, which is definitely a great initial overview and a complement to the conference that will be given on 12 November by Jaume Porta, Professor Emeritus of Edaphology and Agricultural Chemistry at the Polytechnic University College of Agricultural Engineering of the University of Lleida.

First Scientific Experiences Contest

The First Scientific Experiences Contest is an initiative of the Institute for Catalan Studies’ Delegation in Alicante and other academic and cultural institutions, where school teams of up to 6 members (helped by their teachers) carry out a series of scientific experiments. This year, the contest revolves around the topic of Soil and Light, as a contribution to the subject that the International Year is devoted to. On Saturday 14 November, students between 6 and 18 years old will present their experiments in a scientific fair to be held at the Faculty of Law (lecture room 9, underneath the Auditorium). The fair will be open to everybody. Afterwards, at 1 p.m., the Awards Ceremony will take place in the Graduation Hall of the Faculty.

Attached file: postal_novembre_ciencia

Attached file: Experiències científiques

VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante

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