Letter from the President
[Sine Larsen] Sine Larsen

I have been President of the IUCr for more than two years and as a new year begins and the end of my term approaches I have been reflecting on what I have found to be the most exciting and rewarding experiences during my time as President. It did not take long to decide that it was being able to experience and share the way new crystallographic communities have developed and become stronger all over the world. The Turkish National Crystallographic Association was formed in 2001. Just 8 years later the Turkish crystallographers organized the scientifically and socially successful 2009 ECM-25 meeting in Istanbul, which was attended by 810 participants, a very impressive achievement. Crystallography is also growing in North Africa where, in late November of 2010, I attended (along with the current Presidents of the ECA and the ACA and the past-president of AsCA) the 1st North African Crystallographic Congress in Casablanca, Morocco. There was great enthusiasm among the participants to continue these meetings, which may form the basis for the creation of an African Crystallographic Association. Asia is another region where crystallography is growing rapidly. The first AsCA meeting I attended was held 1998 in Malaysia, and in October of 2010 I had the pleasure of attending the 10th AsCA meeting in Busan, Korea. It was a very successful meeting that, with approximately 700 participants, had almost the same number of participants as the meetings of the other IUCr Regional Associates. The Korean crystallographers who organized the meeting represent only one of the many rapidly growing crystallographic communities in Asia. Attending these meetings has shown me how crystallography can grow and thrive through the efforts of a few dedicated men and women. Our science is privileged to have so many people willing to work for our community. Most crystallographic congresses also have exhibitions where new developments of relevance for crystallography are on display. I have always felt that the exhibitors comprise an important part of our crystallographic community, and that close ties with these companies are very important for the development of our science. To everyone working for the promotion and development of crystallography worldwide I offer a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU.

This issue of the IUCr Newsletter contains information and the call for papers for one of the most important crystallographic events in 2011, namely the 22nd IUCr General Assembly and Congress in Madrid. Our Spanish hosts have done everything to make it a great meeting that will be memorable for all the participants. So you should start now to plan and prepare for the exciting days in Madrid next August. During the Congress the delegates from the IUCr member countries will get together in the General Assembly (GA). Many items will be discussed and voted on during the GA sessions. One of the items to be discussed will be a review of the IUCr Statutes and By-Laws prepared by a committee comprised of André Authier, Ted Baker (Chair), Marvin Hackert and Michael Dacombe. The committee was also asked to look at overall procedures for GA sessions and had some excellent suggestions that should give more time for dialogue and discussions at the GA. The report of this committee has been sent to the National Committees for Crystallography for comment.

The International Year of Crystallography (IYCr) mentioned in a previous letter was also discussed at the recent meeting of the Executive Committee in Busan. Plans and ideas for the IYCr will be presented in great detail in Madrid, but before the Congress we invite all crystallographers to propose a design for the logo that will mark the IYCr. The Executive Committee will judge the proposals. Details about the competition for the logo will be available on the IUCr web site early in 2011.

Sine Larsen (sine@kemi.ku.dk)