Meeting report

So long IUCr2011...

[Congress logo]

IUCr2011 (www.iucr2011madrid.es/), the most important crystallographic event held in Madrid (Spain) since the IUCr was founded in 1948, ended happily looking forward to the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2013) and to Montreal (IUCr2014).

The opening ceremony, including the presentation of the three Ewald awards, the congress dinner accompanied by Dixie-Land live music, and the closing ceremony, encompassing the handover of the IUCr’s Presidency, were crowded events.

[Madrid local committee] Madrid Local Committee. Front (left to right): Lourdes Infantes, Martin M. Ripoll, Marta Jiménez, Armando Albert. Behind (left to right): Julia Sanz, Avelino Martin, Pilar Gómez, Catalina Ruiz, Enrique Gutiérrez, Miquel A. Cuevas, Pascual Román, Marta E.G. Mosquera, and Sol López.
[Steitz and Ramakrishnan] Thomas A. Steitz (left) and Venki Ramakrishnan (right).

The congress brought together nearly 2800 people (1880 standard participants, 360 students, 350 grantees, 65 exhibitors and 113 accompanying persons). 73 countries were represented by 2040 abstracts that were distributed across 98 Micro-Symposia with 490 oral and 1550 poster presentations, 20 of which were awarded prizes sponsored by 9 institutions or commercial companies.

In addition, 36 Keynote speakers covered the state of art in crystallography: very large macromolecular assemblies, ribosome complexes, membrane proteins, supramolecular chemistry, structural aspects of bacterial pathogenicity, the structural basis of cell regulatory processes, structural genomics, validation and errors in protein structures, XAFS as a new tool for protein structure-function investigations, ultrafast crystallography using X-ray free electron lasers, coherent X-ray diffraction, single-molecule and hybrid methods, new approaches to experimental phasing of macromolecules, automated electron diffraction tomography as an ab initio structure solution method, polycrystalline materials, powder diffraction at the nanoscale, magnetic neutron crystallography, commensurate and incommensurate structures, soft matter, solid gas materials, energy-related materials, crystal engineering, very recent advances in crystal growth, new topological structural characterization, high-pressure molecular crystals and mineralogy, atomic resolution real-space imaging, and ornamental art of the Alhambra (from plane groups to quasilattices). In summary, the meeting showcased the most recent research being done all over the world in the extremely important scientific fields such mineralogy, chemistry, physics, material science, nanotechnology, biochemistry, biology and biomedicine.

Of the 4 plenary lectures at the congress three, based on the structural and functional aspects of the ribosome, were presented by the 2009 Chemistry Nobel Laureates, Thomas A. Steitz, Venki Ramakrishnan and Ada Yonath. The fourth lecture was given by Omar M. Yaghi on metal organic frameworks.