Mandate and History

Establishment of a Commission on Crystallographic Computing (circa 1960)

After the close of the Fourth General Assembly, the Executive Committee appointed an ad-hoc Committee to consider what action the Union could take with respect to a number of questions raised at that Assembly concerning crystallographic computing. The final report of this ad-hoc Committee was sent to the National Committees in June as an appendix to the Agenda, and it is added to these Minutes as Annex I, Appendix C (b) (see p. 19).

Following the recommendation of the ad-hoc Committee, the Executive Committee proposed that a Commission on Crystallographic Computing be set up, with the following terms of reference:

(a) The Commission shall promote the collection and dissemination on an international scale of information relating to crystallographic computing, with special reference to general-purpose digital computers;
(b) The Commission may undertake any activity related to crystallgraphic computation;
(c) The Commission shall have power to appoint: (i) Consultants to assist and advise in all matters relating to specific machines, and (ii) Regional Correspondents to assist in the collection and distribution of information on a geographical basis.
After a short discussion, during which the General Secretary explained that the Executive Committee had already presented nominations for the new Commission subject to the approval of its establishment by the General Assembly, the Assembly approved the formation of a Commission on Crystallographic Computing with the above terms of reference, and decided that its elected membership should be five.

Appendix C: Reports of the ad-hoc Committees

Ad-hoc Committee on Computing Methods

After due consideration of the varied needs of those engaged in crystallographic computing, of the existing methods of sharing information, and of probable future trends, the Committee advised the Executive Committee at its meeting in Leningrad that there appears to be a need for an international scheme for collecting, cataloguing and digesting, and redistributing information relative to digitial computers suitable for crystallographic work and the crystallographic programs available for each. The Committee considered that the work warranted the establishment by the Union of a new Commission, and recommended its formation. In reponse to a request from the Executive Committee, the Committee has since drafted terms of reference for the Commission, and made recommendations as to its name and composition. (A summary of these appears in the Annual Report of Executive Committee for 1959.) The Committee has discussed in detail and made recommendations on the types of information to be sought, the procedures best suited to its collection and redistribution, and the most useful ways of summarizing and comparing the data. 6 May 1960 D. Rogers, Chairman