Welcome to the

International Union of Crystallography

The IUCr is an International Scientific Union. Its objectives are to promote international cooperation in crystallography and to contribute to all aspects of crystallography, to promote international publication of crystallographic research, to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols, and to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences.

IUCr Newsletter


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Michael G. Rossmann (1930-2019)

[rossmann]It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of the giants in the field of structural biology, Michael G. Rossmann. Professor Rossmann (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA) died on 14 May 2019 at the age of 88.

From mapping the structure of the common cold virus using X-ray crystallography in 1985 to creating the most accurate picture to date of the Zika virus using cryoelectron microscopy in 2018, he and his team have paved the way for vaccine design.

In 1994, Professor Rossmann received the Gregori Aminoff Prize, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, for his fundamental methodological work on the utilization of non-crystallographic symmetry, with its especially important applications within protein and virus crystallography. Shortly afterwards, in 1996, he was awarded the fourth Ewald Prize for his work on molecular replacement and the use of non-crystallographic symmetry in the determination of macromolecular structure and for his research on the structure of viruses, which is foremost among the triumphs of crystallography. The latter Prize was presented during the Opening Ceremony of the 17th IUCr Congress (Seattle, WA, USA), and it was at this Congress that the IUCr commissioned him and Eddy Arnold to produce a new volume for the International Tables series dedicated to the growing field of macromolecular crystallography. The resultant Volume F, which appeared in 2001, was enthusiastically welcomed by the structural biology community. Professor Rossmann had other close ties to the IUCr. At the 12th General Assembly (Ottawa, Canada) in 1981, he was elected Chair of the new Commission on Biological-Macromolecule Crystallography (now Commission on Biological Macromolecules), and has also served on the Commission on Crystallographic Nomenclature. In addition, he has published widely in IUCr journals.

A full obituary will be published in due course.

Posted 15 May 2019 


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New SasView release

The SasView Collaboration is pleased to announce two new releases of its popular data analysis package.

  • SasView-5.0.0-Beta2 is the latest preview of our next-generation, Python3-based, version of SasView. This Beta2 version builds on feedback received since Beta1 debuted at SAS-2018 in October and has almost all the functionality of versions 4.2.x
  • SasView-4.2.1 is a point release for version 4.2.0 addressing issues with the built-in model editor and the NXcanSAS file reader, in particular, but which also adds a few other improvements.

SasView is a Small Angle Scattering Analysis Software Package, originally developed as part of the NSF DANSE project under the name SansView, now managed by an international collaboration of facilities. Feedback and contributions are welcome and encouraged. Further details and downloads at the project web page https://www.sasview.org.

Posted 20 Feb 2019 


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Bids are invited to host PCCr3 or PCCr4

[PCCr logo]Following the highly successful First Pan African Conference on Crystallography (PCCr1) in Dschang, Cameroon, in 2016 and PCCr2 in Accra, Ghana, in 2019, bids are now invited to host PCCr3 or PCCr4. The proposals should be submitted by the proposed Chair of the Local Organising Committee to Dr Patrice Kenfack Tsobnang, the Secretary of the African Crystallographic Association (AfCA) Steering Committee by 15 March 2019. After examining the bids, the AfCA Steering Committee will vote on the location of PCCr3 and PCCr4. A decision is due by 1 April 2019. Please see guidelines for preparing proposals and guidance for PCCr organisers.

Follow the progress towards the AfCA on Facebook!

Posted 15 Feb 2019 


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IUCr Gender Equity and Diversity Committee

The IUCr is proud to announce the formation of a Gender Equity and Diversity Committee (GEDC). The GEDC aims to address issues and establish new practices and policies to overcome inequity in the IUCr's processes. The Committee's terms of reference can be found here.

The current members of the GEDC are as follows:

  • Jenny Martin (IUCr Executive Committee member, Australia)
  • Sven Lidin (IUCr President, Sweden)
  • Annalisa Guerri (member of the IUCr Calendar Committee that awards funding for crystallography conferences, Italy)
  • Michele Zema (IUCr Executive Outreach Officer)
  • Helen Maynard-Casely (ANSTO instrument scientist, Australia)
  • Claire Murray (Beamline Support Scientist, Diamond Synchrotron, UK)
  • Christine Beavers (Principal Beamline Scientist, Diamond Synchrotron, UK)

(Helen, Claire and Christine are three of the four authors of the IUCr blog "Women in Crystallography – we’re not just historical").

The Chair is asking for volunteers to complete the Committee. Jenny's message is:

The GEDC can have up to 10 members, and we currently have seven. So the next step is to find up to three more members of our community who are committed to addressing gender equity and diversity. To do that we need to address our own committee imbalance in geography and gender.

If you are interested in volunteering to join the GEDC, or would like to nominate someone that you think would do a good job, please contact Jenny or IUCr Executive Secretary Alex Ashcroft.

Posted 08 Feb 2019 

research news

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Special issue on mineralogical crystallography

[B cover Dec 18]For many centuries crystallography and mineralogy were part of a single discipline, and it was impossible to separate one from the other. In fact even the early works of Theophrastus (On Stones) and Pliny's Natural History show that the beginnings of both sciences have the same roots. In fact, crystallography grew out of mineralogy because in Steno's time the only crystals available for study were those of minerals. In the 20th century, however, the two sciences went their separate ways, but even today crystallographic research is an important part of mineralogy and mineralogical research is still an important part of crystallography. The December 2018 issue of Acta Cryst. B includes a special issue devoted to mineralogical crystallography and collects some important contributions that demonstrate the diversity of crystallographic ideas and methods developed to solve valuable issues in mineralogy.

There are some 5 500 (and growing) different mineral species known today [1] compared with more than 1 200 000 biological species described so far! Some of these mineral species are rare and occur in only a few localities, whereas others crystallize in the range of millions of tons in the Earth's crust. The latter are called 'rock-forming minerals' and their study is of utmost importance for our understanding of the behaviour of rocks on and beneath the Earth's surface.

[1] Pasero, M. (2018). The new IMA list of minerals, accessed 4 December 2018.

Sergey V. Krivovichev, Janusz Lipkowski and Stuart J. Mills
Guest Editors

Posted 21 Dec 2018


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Jenny Martin to lead University of Wollongong's research and innovation strategy

[Jenny Martin]

IUCr Executive Committee member Jenny Martin has been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) by the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia. The current director of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffiths University will pursue a research strategy that is “values-based” from next March.

“My vision is for a research strategy that encompasses the values that I hold dear: excellence, respect, integrity and collegiality,” Professor Martin said. “In a high-performing research organisation like UOW we expect to recruit and retain researchers of the highest calibre, and that means providing the support and opportunity for early-career, mid-career and senior researchers to pursue excellence. I also want to bring an element of entrepreneurship and innovation into everything that we do, and I am excited about the opportunity to engage with industry, government and the community." She added that she was also looking forward to working with dedicated and highly talented people from all disciplines - across the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, information sciences, business, law as well as science, medicine and health. “That breadth of knowledge, innovation and creativity takes me back to my Oxford days when I was living in college with students from the humanities, with archaeologists and political scientists and engineers. I loved the diversity and the opportunity to communicate with people across discipline boundaries. That is where the greatest innovations occur.”

Professor Martin was made a Companion of the Order of Australia earlier this year for “eminent service to scientific research, particularly in the field of biochemistry and protein crystallography applied to drug-resistant bacteria, as a role model, and as an advocate for gender equality in science”. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, current President of the Asian Crystallographic Association and a former Editor of Acta Cryst. D.

For more information, please see here.

Posted 18 Dec 2018