Letter from the President
[Marvin L. Hackert] Marvin L. Hackert

It is an honor to serve as President of the IUCr. Having served previously on the Executive Committee under the leadership of Sine Larsen and Gautam Desiraju, I understand that there is a lot of work involved. We owe them our thanks and gratitude for their efforts to bring us the International Year of Crystallography. I look forward to working with the members of the EC and many of you to further advance the science of crystallography and society's understanding of its benefits. I would also like to thank and acknowledge the work of the International Programme Committee led by Jim Britten, the Local Organizing Committee led by Mirek Cygler and Albert Berghuis and the coordination given by Michele Bourgeois-Doyle for their parts in making the 23rd Congress and General Assembly of the IUCr in Montreal such a success. In addition to the excellent scientific programme, a number of important actions took place in Montreal that are worth noting: the approval of a new Regional Associate with the formation of the Latin American Crystallographic Association (LACA), the welcoming of eight new countries into the Union, the creation of an IYCr2014 Legacy Fund to support the continuation of IYCr activities such as the OpenLabs and outreach activities, and the selection of Prague as the site for IUCr2020.

Several things have happened since Montreal. The EC heard comments concerning confusion related to our Commissions - membership, length of tenure and expectations - and we promised to work to improve our communications with the Commissions. We have updated the IUCr web site with a summary table listing all our Commissions in one convenient place, along with links to a global email address for each Commission and name and email link for the EC member liaison for that Commission. We also sent an email to all Commission members in September thanking them for their service and reviewing our expectations for the Commissions. If you have further suggestions on steps we can take to improve the operation of the EC, we would love to hear from you.

IYCr2014 has been a wonderful opportunity for all of us to celebrate who we are and to promote the education and awareness of our science. Much of the credit for implementing these efforts goes to the excellent coordination by Michele Zema. Michele and the Chester staff have done a fantastic job with the IYCr events, and the IYCr website contains a wealth of information on the activities and history of crystallography that will remain a lasting legacy. The OpenLabs, OpenFactories and summit meetings have been a partnership between the IUCr, UNESCO and our industrial and institutional sponsors. Since Montreal, OpenLabs have been held in Indonesia and Turkey, with others planned for Colombia, Algeria and Hong Kong. There was also a very successful OpenFactory held in Darmstadt and Grenoble and a summit meeting in Campinas, Brazil; another summit meeting is planned for Bloemfontein, South Africa. I was fortunate to have been able to attend and meet the delegates at the Latin American summit in Campinas, and I was very impressed with the depth and breadth of science going on in Latin America and plans for the new 4th generation synchrotron (Sirius).

Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude to all who volunteer their time and energy to do the good works of the IUCr. I would especially like to acknowledge the contributions of the outgoing members of the EC – Sine Larsen (past President), Claude Lecomte (past Vice-President), Juan Manuel Pérez-Mato and Elena Boldyreva. It was my pleasure to have served with them. Some have noted that we lost two excellent women on the EC and did not add any new female members. It is important, valuable and simply right that we strive for diversity on IUCr Commissions and Committees, and this includes gender balance as well as geographic and area factors. To address this issue, it requires effort on all our parts to put forward names that more fully represent the diversity of our qualified candidates. You will hear more about this before the next General Assembly meets in Hyderabad in 2017.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the EC with your concerns, comments or suggestions for how the IUCr can work more effectively to serve you.

Marvin L. Hackert (m.hackert@austin.utexas.edu)