Meeting report

German Crystallographic Assn (DGK) 10th annual meeting

Kiel, March 2002

[DGK logo]
The city of Kiel close to the Baltic Sea is well known for numerous national and international sailing activities. The university of this city, the ‘Christian-Alberts-U. zu Kiel’, hosted this year’s DGK meeting held March 4-7, 2002. In addition, a public exhibition on ‘Crystals in Art and Science’ (see contribution of W. Depmeier below) started in parallel to this meeting. Both events were organized by the Inst. of Geosciences. About 400 participants attended the meeting. The scientific program comprised nine plenary lectures, two parallel series of micro symposia on general crystallography and on structural biology with about 30 contributions each, and in total more than 220 poster presentations, which covered almost all fields related to crystallography.

The topics of the plenary lectures spanned the wide range of interests of the German crystallographic community including ‘HTP structural genomics’ (U. Heinemann), ‘Using high-T and high-P chemistry to synthesize new nitro silicates and nitro phosphates’ (W. Schnick), ‘Crystal engineering: structure and properties’ (G. Desiraju), ‘Fundamental studies in clathrate hydrates’ (J. Tse), ‘Modelling of quasicrystals by a quasi unit cell’ (P. Gummelt) and ‘Diffraction from polycrystals using synchrotron radiation’ (H. Ehrenberg, 2001 Max-von-Laue prize laureate talk).

During the last session of the meeting ‘New methods - the future of crystallography’ plenary talks were presented on ‘The European Spallation Source (ESS) Projects’ (D. Richter), ‘The DESY X-ray free electron laser: a quick look on atoms’ (J.R. Schneider) and ‘What can simulators offer crystallographers’ (J. Gale). The first two talks presented plans for large science infrastructure projects in Europe. The third talk summarized the present state of computational crystallography. The following discussion embracing the justification of the costs for large scale research facilities was quite lively, but finally most of the participants agreed that scientists should first concentrate on the new scientific opportunities of the planned projects.

The topics of the microsymposia sessions included theory, X-ray diffraction studies, teaching, synchrotron and neutron diffraction, and solid state NMR. Parallel microsymposia on structural biology covered industrial crystallography, methods and instrumentation, new structures, structural genomics and membrane proteins.

For several years now DGK has awarded two prizes during the annual meeting. This year the Max-von-Laue prize for outstanding achievements of young scientists was received by M. Fechtelkord, who made his main contributions in solid state NMR. He will give a plenary lecture on this topic during next year’s DGK meeting in Berlin. The second prize, the Carl-Hermann-Medal, is awarded to distinguished crystallographers in order to honour their lifework. This year’s Carl-Hermann-Medal was awarded to F. Liebau who made very important contributions to our knowledge about silicates during his scientific career.

The scientific program was accompanied by a social evening event that took place in the ‘Kieler Markthalle’.

Edgar Weckert