The importance of the IYCr2014 resolution
The International Year of Crystallography - 2014 - was an extraordinary one for our science. Across the world, hundreds of activities highlighted the importance of our subject, and brought it, perhaps for the first time, to the notice of schoolchildren, teachers, the general public, politicians and policy makers. The formal milestones of the year occurred during major international events around the globe: the Opening Ceremony in Paris, France in January 2014; regional summit meetings in Karachi, Pakistan (April), Campinas, Brazil (September) and Bloemfontein, South Africa (October); and the Closing Conference in Rabat, Morocco in April 2015. From each of these events came a formal communique, often highlighting the challenges that face our science and its practitioners, especially early career scientists, in our modern, busy world.
However, the final resolution, carrying the title that was the theme of the Rabat conference - Crystallography for the next generation - is different. It is optimistic in outlook, and carries a strong commitment to securing the future of crystallography, from representatives of several International Scientific Unions and international non-governmental agencies. The resolution embraces the needs to enhance the stature of crystallography, to build capacity in developing regions of the world, and to extend further the public understanding of science in general and crystallography in particular.
It is, of course, right that such a commitment be given by senior officers of such bodies, and it is to be hoped that this commitment will be seen, heard and acknowledged by science directors and policy makers around the world. However, it is also right that individuals, who have been touched and inspired by the International Year of Crystallography, should have the opportunity to endorse publicly these goals and the specific actions identified in the resolution. This can be done through an online form that allows individuals to add their names to the list of those who support the IYCr2014 resolution goals and actions. Already more than 100 individuals have shown their support. Please take a few moments to read the resolution in detail, recognise its importance, and - if you agree with these objectives - add your own name to the list. The next generation of crystallographers will thank you for it.