Letter from the President

[Yuji Ohashi]Letter from the President

In this issue articles on Crystallography in India are included. I attended the 36th National Seminar on Crystallography in collaboration with the Indian Crystallographic Association (ICA) held at the University of Madras in Chennai, 22-24 January 2007, at the invitation of the organizer, Professor Ponnuswamy. More than 120 crystallographers attended the meeting. I was interviewed by a writer from the public newspaper, The Hindu, about the IUCr, because I was the first IUCr President to attend the Annual Meeting of the ICA. A large photograph of Professor Lal (President of ICA) and me appeared in the newspaper the next day. I was deeply impressed that many young students eagerly took part in the discussion. I am sure that crystallography in India will be developed more and more in the near future.

As I wrote in the letter of a previous issue (Vol. 15, No. 2), Dr Bernard Omondi has completed his PhD successfully under the direction of Professor Demi Levendis at the University of Witwaterstrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the support of an IUCr fund (Africa PhD Initiative). The Executive Committee approved continuation of this fund at its meeting held in Salt Lake City in July 2007 (Vol. 15, No. 3). However, the system was slightly modified so that the Professor responsible for hosting the student and administering the fund may come from any country in Africa although the fund should be limited to students from sub-Saharan African countries. Recently, we accepted two applications from Professor Trevor Sewell of the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The Executive Committee agreed that the fund should be awarded to two students, both of whom (Mr Ndoria Thuku and Ms Serah Kimani) come from Kenya, and they will start their doctors course at the University in 2008. We hope that they will complete their PhDs successfully after three years.

Recently I received a letter from my young friend in Ghana, Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Marfo. He completed his PhD in a crystallographic laboratory of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Tokyo and subsequently returned to Ghana; he is now a staff member of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. In Ghana he cannot teach crystallography since there is no diffractometer in Ghana. He asked me to introduce him to any crystallographer who has an old diffractometer not used in his or her laboratory. He promised that he will be able to arrange the transportation of the diffractometer to Ghana. I am now looking for such a Japanese crystallographer. If any reader has any information on the availability of a used diffractometer, please let me know. I hope that the IUCr will have some system for crystallographers in developing countries to obtain used diffractometers from developed countries in the near future.

Yuji Ohashi, yohashi@spring8.or.jp