Summary of the “Light for Life” Hub: We are launching the web page of the hub today, 16th May 2020, part of our celebration of the International Day of Light.

Light for Life brings together teams working on the technology, applications and understanding of light, linking areas where we have strong track records of funding and outputs and a distinctive profile. The theme’s research areas each have potential to be distinctive markers in the UK research landscape, capitalising on Kent’s unique strengths and ambitions such as intellectual property in optical coherence tomography, leading forensic training, and unique capabilities in embryology, reproduction, and cancer. It builds on existing links with Kent NHS Trusts, as well as a network of external collaborators. By encompassing scientific, technological and humanities disciplines, it will enable Kent to respond to the needs of society with a versatile team of experts collaborating across disciplinary boundaries.

Aims: Light for Life will create a new hub for inter-disciplinary research on light for the University of Kent and the surrounding region. Its research activities will span across a range of disciplines and domains of human knowledge. It will include the development of novel, light-based technologies and the use of light to gain new understanding and capabilities in applications such as forensics, biosciences, psychology and medicine. It will encompass the role of light in everyday human life, from the way we illuminate our built environment to the way light affects our moods and perception. As a critical factor in the way we create and interpret many forms of art and heritage, light will be the common thread that can help forge new links between the humanities and the sciences.  Light for Life will stimulate development of new research teams from across the three faculties, challenging them to generate and develop radically new ideas of how light can be used to impact human lives. The theme will be deeply anchored in supporting University initiatives and engaging with industry and communities in Kent and across the UK, while also exploiting and developing our links with centres of excellence around the world.  

The three main Strands

Light for Life will initially be organised around three sub-themes. These will not be exclusive; all theme members and theme partners will be invited to attend events organised under each banner. The sub-themes will also be fluid, changing to match priorities as the theme develops over time and brings in new members. The proposed sub-themes will each draw in contributions from all three faculties, and are primarily structured around existing strengths, so that they have the potential to generate research applications in the short term, as well as to nurture new longer-term partnerships based on interfaculty cooperation.

A: Light for Science and Medicine: Light for Medicine, Biosciences, Communications, Engineering and Physical Sciences;

B: Light for the World: Anthropology, Conservation, Forensic studies, Heritage and  Infrastructures;

C: Light for the Mind: Light for the Arts, Cognitive Sciences, Neuroscience, Psychology, Physiology, Well Being and Moods

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