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Letter from the President

[Bill Duax]The National Committees and adhering bodies of the IUCr of 24 countries nominated candidates to fill offices of the Executive Committee and the 15 Commissions of the IUCr for the triennium 2005-2008. The list of nominees has been posted on the IUCr website. Two candidates for President, two candidates for Secretary/Treasurer, and sixteen candidates for general membership on the Executive Committee were nominated. I want to express my appreciation to all the members of the national committees of all countries who have made nominations. Traditionally, national committees have tended to recommend crystallographers from their country for membership on the Executive Committee. It is gratifying to see national committees go beyond their own borders to support nomination of candidates regardless of gender or country of origin. The list of candidates demonstrates how many highly qualified and capable people are willing to serve the Union. In accordance with the by-laws, the Executive Committee, meeting in Budapest, Hungary, August 25-26, began a review of the nominations in order to compose a slate of candidates for presentation to the delegates to the the XX General Assembly in Florence, Italy. The results of the Executive Committees deliberations will be sent to the Secretaries of all National Committees as soon as possible, after which time the results will be posted on the IUCr website. In accordance with the by-laws, additional nominations for election to any executive office can be proposed at the Congress. It may be time to consider an expanded Executive Committee coming from an increased number of Union countries that could advance the goals of the Union more effectively. A review of the list of candidates for membership on the Executive Committee indicated how well each of these excellent candidates could serve the needs of the IUCr throughout the world. The composition of the IUCr Executive Committee has changed very little in the 50 years since its inception. Any expansion of the size of the Executive Committee would require revision of the bylaws, another matter for the consideration of the delegates to future IUCr General Assemblies.

Since my election as President, I tried to attend the meetings of all the regional affiliates to the IUCr in order to learn more about the needs and activities of crystallographers everywhere. I have attended meetings with crystallographers in Canada, Moldova, Novosibirsk, Algeria, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Morocco, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Budapest, and Chicago. Later this year, I will attend meetings of crystallographers in Venezuela, Argentina, the UK and Moscow. While in these countries, I try to meet with members of the national crystallographic associations and national committees and especially crystallographers from nonmember countries to discuss how the Union can serve them better. I have prepared summary reports of highlights of my visits for the members of the Executive Committee. Excerpts from these reports will be distributed to national committees and appear in future issues of the Newsletter.

At some of the meetings, I have also been able to meet with other members of the Executive Committee to discuss a range of issues facing our community. We are very fortunate to have an active Executive Committee that has accepted new responsibilities, including the preparation of special issues of the IUCr Newsletter that review crystallography in their country. In this issue, Leonid Aslanov, assisted by crystallographers throughout Russia, begins a comprehensive survey of crystallography in Russia covering the Moscow region. The next issue will include reports from other major centers in Russia.

Bill Duax