Letter from the President

Letter from the President

[Yuji Ohashi]Yuji Ohashi
The activities of the IUCr are divided into three parts. The first concerns the activities of the National Committees (39 Adhering Bodies) and the three Regional Associates (ACA, AsCA and ECA). The second involves publication of the journals, International Tables and the IUCr/OUP Book Series. The third part is the activities of the 16 non-publishing scientific Commissions.

In order to foster the growth of crystallography, it is very important to welcome membership from the developing countries. The number of 39 is too small, although many non-member countries do participate in the activities of the Regional Associates. In Florence, we welcomed the Hellenic Crystallographic Association but lost the Adhering Bodies for Ukraine and Bulgaria. Of course, the IUCr supports not only crystallographers in member countries but also those in non-member countries. We must remember, however, that IUCr activities depend on those of the member countries. To increase the number of members, the IUCr, in cooperation with the Regional Associates, will support efforts of crystallographers in non-member countries to organize seminars or schools and will help them to form national crystallographic societies.

For publishing activities, the launch of the new online journal Acta Crystallographica Section F, combined with Acta Crystallographica Section D, should contribute significantly to promoting research in biological crystallography. Furthermore, the online version of the International Tables for Crystallography will be available in the near future. I hope crystallography will thus become more familiar to students and young scientists.

In order to cultivate new areas of crystallography, the activities of the scientific Commissions are important. Since crystallography is based on a variety of scientific fields, we must always be on the lookout for a seed or germ of new areas of research. At the Florence General Assembly we accepted the new Commission on Mathematical and Theoretical Crystallography. More Commissions may become necessary to cover such scientific fields as the development of new apparatus, including detectors, and research on surfaces and interfaces. Since current IUCr Commissions covers only 16 scientific fields, we are ready to accept new ones. Moreover, it is important that not only experienced scientists but also young scientists should serve as members of each Commission. I expect that the Chairs of Commissions will take this into account when recommending new members, also taking into consideration geographical, age and gender balance.

In addition to management of the above activities, the Executive Committee is discussing new nomination procedures for its membership to reflect new expectations within the crystallographic community. In the discussion we must remember that the IUCr consists of Adhering Bodies from member countries whose valuable input is always highly appreciated. We will report on the new plan after the summer meeting of the Executive Committee.

Yuji Ohashi, yohashi@spring8.or.jp