Meeting report (IUCr supported)
Latin American Crystallographic Association activities in 2019
The Latin American Crystallographic Association (LACA) had two main events in 2019. The II LACA School took place 1–6 October and the IV LACA Meeting 7–10 October at Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS), Bucaramanga, Colombia. José Antonio Henao (UIS) was the Chair of the organizing committee.
The program of the II LACA School included lectures and demonstrations on single-crystal and powder diffraction techniques and was taught by 11 international and 3 Colombian instructors. A total of 75 young researchers and students from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela attended the school; 28 of them were awarded scholarships through IUCr funding and 17 received scholarships from the International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD). The female-to-male ratio for the participants was 47:53. In addition to financial support, the IUCr provided online access to International Tables for Crystallography during the school. The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) provided licences for 30 days to the Cambridge Structural Database and the ICDD to the PDF-4 databases.
The IV LACA meeting included plenary lectures delivered by IUCr President Sven Lidin (Sweden), Abel Moreno (Mexico), Silvia Cuffini (Brazil) and Iris Torriani (Brazil), who received special recognition for her long-standing scientific career and for her work for the Latin American crystallographic community. Attendees were from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay, the USA and Venezuela with a 40:60 female:male ratio. A total of 35 young scientists received travel and subsistence support from the IUCr; the IUCr also supported the attendance of two Visiting Professors, James Kaduk (USA) and Serena Tarantino (Italy). The meeting included 12 semi-plenaries, oral presentations, posters and a commercial exhibit. From the two poster sessions, eight posters presented by students were selected for prizes awarded by LACA, IUCr Journals, ICDD's Powder Diffraction journal, the CCDC, Journal of Chemical Crystallography, CrystEngComm and Crystal Growth & Design.
The Colombian Crystallography Society met for the first time during the meeting. At the assembly, the need to strengthen collaboration between laboratories and to activate the adherence of Colombia to the IUCr were discussed and approved. A committee composed of representatives from UIS, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad del Valle, Universidad de Los Andes and the Colombian Geological Service was set up to take the necessary steps for Colombia to apply for membership of the IUCr during the next General Assembly in Prague in 2021.
At the LACA Assembly, the report on the activities carried out in 2018–2019 was presented by LACA President José Reyes-Gasga (Mexico), as well as Professor Torriani. Professor Moreno presented a proposal to host the 2026 IUCr Congress and General Assembly in Mexico, and the LACA Assembly approved support for a bid from the Mexican Crystallography Society (SMCr) to host this event. The LACA Assembly discussed the planning of the 2021 and 2022 meetings, with Costa Rica and Uruguay as possible sites for the V and VI LACA meetings. As the IUCr Congress and General Assembly has been postponed until 2021, the LACA meetings will also be postponed to 2022 and 2023.
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