Programme / V. B Light Sources and Crystallographic Sciences for Sustainable Development

‹ back to Programme lister

Day 4

Friday / 10 nov

11:30 - 13:00

Thematic session:
V. B Light Sources and Crystallographic Sciences for Sustainable Development
Organised by:  UNESCO-IUPAP-IUCr
Venue: King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre, Wadi Rum 1- Ground Floor

Because of their high costs and multidisciplinary use, large-scale synchrotron light sources facilities provide strong opportunities for integration through networking and cost-sharing, and promote multi-disciplinary collaboration with the wider global community, while promoting science diplomacy and peace at large. Following the SESAME example– the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East –, the thematic session will use as its basis, the UNESCO-IUPAP-IUCr project “Light sources for Africa, the Americas and the Middle East”, to showcase how light sources have revolutionized research in many science and technology disciplines and have contributed to the socio-economic development of countries and regions by:

  • creating international scientific communities, fostering cooperation;
  • improving education and creating job opportunities;
  • discussing the steps-forward following the establishment of light sources in the South (mainly, Africa and Latin America), while learning from the experiences of SESAME;
  • increasing awareness of decision-makers of the major advances that light sources bring to these regions and the identification of the best locations for a sustainable development of such infrastructure;
  • advocating through global initiatives such the International Year of Crystallography and International Year of Light, including follow-up activities;
  • developing a critical mass of highly qualified human capital (including the African science diaspora) needed to reach the SDGs and regional framework agreements like the African Union Agenda 2063.


The overall objective of the session is to portray a scalable model for light sources initiatives in the developing regions. The outcome is designed to empower and inspire researchers, scientists, engineers and technologists, policy makers to take proactive roles in their countries and regions to drive towards a densified science cooperation to improve international relations between countries and to develop the human capacity that enable researchers in the Global South to get the most from light sources, and to be meaningful contributors to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Synchrotron light sources are comparable to super microscopes that probe the inner structure of matter. They produce very intense pulses of light (from infrared radiation to x-rays), with wavelengths and intensities that allow detailed studies of objects ranging in size from human cells to viruses and proteins, down to atoms, with a precision that is not possible by other means. They allow researchers to investigate the structure and properties of a wide range of materials, from proteins to provide information for designing new and better drugs, probing novel materials for biotechnology, analyzing soils for green agriculture, to engineering applications, and the examination of archeological artifacts. Light sources have become prime enablers of scientific and technological progress and innovation, conducive to sustainable development in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda.


Event video