Letter from the President
[Yuji Ohashi]

Letter from the President

The Executive Committee (EC) Meeting this year was held July 27-29 at Salt Lake City, USA, just after the ACA Meeting. All the EC members attended the meeting. Many important items were discussed at the meeting and some of these are described below. At the previous EC meeting held in Leuven, Belgium, it was approved (with the recommendation of the Finance Committee) that starting in 2008 Acta Crystallographica Section E should become an open-access journal. A number of discussion were held both within the Commission on Journals and the Finance Committee on how to reduce the workload for both editors and technical staff, and to keep the open-access submission fee as low as possible. As a result of these discussion a new short format for Acta E papers was introduced in 2007 and beginning in 2008 the submission fee for papers will be USD 150 for each paper accepted for publication. A waiver system will be introduced for submissions from developing countries.

As described in the previous issue, a PhD student from central Africa, Bernard Omondi, has successfully completed his PhD at the U. of Witwatersrand in South Africa, supported by an IUCr fund. The EC has approved continuation of this fund, but the system will be modified slightly: although the fund should be limited to a student from a sub-Saharan African country, the professor responsible for hosting the student and administering the fund may come from any country in Africa.

Next year, 2008, is the 60th anniversary of the formation of the IUCr in 1948. Several events are planned to celebrate this anniversary. The first is a Special Issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A, which will be published as the first issue of 2008. The second is an Anniversary Ceremony that will be held 23 August 2008 at Osaka, just before the Opening Ceremony of the 21st General Assembly and Congress. During the Anniversary Ceremony Ted Baker, a past President of the IUCr, will give a presentation on the central importance of crystallography to every facet of modern life. The third will be an exhibition of photographs. A variety of photographs from the past 60 years will be presented by Immediate Past President, Bill Duax, EC member Chris Gilmore and the first AsCA President, Syd Hall. Moreover, all past Presidents of the IUCr will be invited to participate in the Ceremony.

Details of the 21st General Assembly and Congress were reported by the Chair of the International Programme Committee, Yasuhiko Fujii. There will be 2 Plenary Lectures, 36 Keynote Lectures and 98 Microsymposia at the Congress. Approximately 1,500 poster presentations are expected with 500 posters to be presented every two days. Many official and optional tours to visit the neighbouring cities of Kyoto and Nara are planned. Details are given elsewhere in this issue (see pullout section between pages 12 and 13).

At the Leuven Meeting, the EC proposed that a number of non-member countries could form a group that would become a member of the IUCr. Discussions on potential groups were held during the council meetings of the three Regional Associates, ACA, AsCA and ECA. It is likely that at least one group will be formed in the region of each Regional Associate and the groups will be submitted for approval of their membership at the next General Assembly in Osaka. This has the potential of adding more than 20 countries as new members of the IUCr. The EC will welcome these new members with pleasure. Nominations for the next President, Vice-President, General Secretary and Treasurer, and EC members made by the National Committees for Crystallography were considered by the Executive Committee. It was agreed that all the names received should be put forward for voting at the General Assembly at Osaka. This list has been sent to the National Committees. If the National Committees consider that other candidates should be put forward they are able to do so according to the By-Laws. I hope an active and effective EC will be elected by the General Assembly.

Yuji Ohashi, yohashi@spring8.or.jp