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1. SA SIG at the 1997 Annual Meeting

The program is buidling very nicely. We have received abstracts for 23
contributed and invited papers. These will fill our three session, with a
couple of presentations flagged as posters. I hope to post the session
lineup to the SAS Worldwide web site next week. I will let you know when
that happens.

There are still opportunities (until 11 April) for poster presentations if
you are willing to pay the $100 late abstract fee.

2. Panel Discussion - "SAS in North America - The Next Generation"

It has been a while since the entire North American SAS community has had a
chance for a discussion of what is happening and where we are going. I
therefore decided to insert a panel discussion on the matters into the
"Frontiers in SAS" session in St. Louis. 

Charlie Glinka of NIST has agreed to provide an overview of issues related
to SANS facilities and Tom Irving of BioCAT has agreed to do the same for
synchrotron SAXS. There are a number of other issues that cry out for
coverage. I see issues related to data transport, software for data
reduction and interpretation, performance of area detectors, and
standardization of intensities, to name just a couple of obvious ones. I
would like to hear from any of you who read this with suggestions for topics
to be covered an people to cover them. If you know somoeone who would be
especially interested in this activity please have them contact me ASAP.

Note that we are not interested in presentations that would normally take
the form of papers at a meeting. We are looking for broad overviews of these
subjects that go beyond a given individual's own agenda.

If the discussion goes well we may decide to publish it as a newsletter
article, on the SAS Worldwide Web site, or in some other appropriate venue.

3. Why a "Small-Angle SIG?" - Recently one of my colleagues challenged the
usefulness of the ACA meeting as being too much focussed on methodology, for
which this particular colleague did not see a real need. I take vigorous
exception to that. What value do our results have if we do not understand
the methods that are behind them? Narrow segments of our comunity have many
forums for presenting their work - the Biophysical Society, the Materials
Research Society,, the American Physical Society, etc, etc.

With the exception of the triennal world congresses on SAS (like SAS-96)
there are very few venues in which the neutron folks, the x-ray folks, and
the light scatterers can sit down to compare notes on their methods and on
ways to interpret their results. The good response from foreign countries
for the St. Louis meeting shows that we are getting some recognition for
this role. I will welcome any suggestions by members of the SAS community as
to other places where we can make a contribution.

4. Bonse-Hart methods - I received a number of good replies to my query of
last week. I want to thank everyone who participated and I want to encourage
other members of the community who have similar technical questions to use
our community's electronic forums to seek answers. Above all, remind those
of your friends who have not yet subscribed to the SAS listserver that it is
both easy and desirable to climb on board.

Thank You

John D. Barnes                   e-mail: john.barnes@nist.gov
NIST Polymer Mech & Struct Grp   voice:  301-975-6786
Bldg 224, Rm A209                FAX:    301-977-2018
Gaithersbrg, MD 20899