2005 is the International Year of Physics, exactly 100 years since Einstein made three of his most important discoveries, including special relativity (and the iconic equation e = mc2).
The Institute of Physics is using this anniversary to raise the profile of physics in a bid to attract desperately needed students to the subject and make the wider public aware of the ways in which physics touches and improves our everyday lives.
Physics is vital to the future success of the UKs economy, helping generate new business and industry and providing a flow of highly-qualified graduates for a variety of employers - not just in scientific industries but in the financial and high-tech services.
Yet physics graduates among the most sought after graduates - are in short supply. This problem is compounded by a lack of careers advice for young people. This means they are not made aware of the high demand among employers for the type of skills possessed by physics students such as numeracy and analytical problem-solving abilities.
Einstein Year provides an ideal opportunity for businesses in the UK to be more proactive - engaging and enthusing young people in the subject.
Media coverage of the events of Einstein Year also make it a great opportunity for companies to raise their corporate profile and boost staff morale internally.
Through sponsorship and outreach work, Einstein Year also provides an excellent platform from which companies can help fulfil the requirements of their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments by doing public good and forging closer relationships with communities.
There are many ways to get involved, from sponsorship of high profile national activities (organised through the Institute of Physics or with partners) through to local community-based activities such as open days, talks, staff competitions and link-ups with local schools.
The Institute of Physics communications team is leading the way, using the centenary of Special Relativity, the basis of much of modern science, to celebrate the role of physics through a raft of innovative events and activities including:
- A free computer game bringing Einsteins theories to life, sent out over the internet available for sponsorship
- Exciting experiments on the move with Lab in a Lorry touring the UK and Ireland throughout 2005 sponsored by The Shlumberger Foundation
- The Rambert Dance Company are producing a new work based on Einstein's theories, supported by Arts & Business South West
- Einstein Birthday parties on March 14th, during Science Week
Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation, and an Einstein Year patron commentated, This is a great opportunity to inspire and encourages physicists of the future. I fully support this initiative and encourage everyone to participate.
To find out more about Einstein Year, and how to get involved, visit www.einsteinyear.org <http://www.einsteinyear.org/> .