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News from the IUCr Executive Committee

[EC for 2017-2020] The new IUCr Executive Committee for the triennium 2017-2020. Front row (l-r): Alex Ashcroft (newly appointed Executive Secretary), Marvin L. Hackert (Immediate Past President), Sven Lidin (President), Hanna Dabkowska (Vice-President), Luc Van Meervelt (General Secretary and Treasurer), Jane Robinson (Administrative Assistant to the Executive Secretary). Back row (l-r): Graciela Díaz de Delgado, Masaki Takata, Santiago García-Granda, Radomír Kuzel, Jennifer L. Martin, Wulf Depmeier.

A successful 24th IUCr Congress and General Assembly took place on August 21-28, 2017, in Hyderabad, India. The total number of Congress participants exceeded 1700 with 73 countries represented (see, making it a truly international scientific gathering. The Ewald Prize was awarded to Sir Tom Blundell, recognizing his very broad contributions to the field of crystallography, and the Gjønnes Medal was awarded to Richard Henderson and Nigel Unwin. Innovations at the Congress included a parallel programme and special activity microsymposia, which were held in the same time slots as the regular microsymposia.

A new IUCr Executive Committee for 2017-2020 was elected by the General Assembly: General Secretary and Treasurer:

President: Sven Lidin
Vice-President: Hanna Dabkowska
Immediate Past-President: Marvin L. Hackert
General Secretary and Treasurer: Luc Van Meervelt
Regular Members:
Graciela Díaz de Delgado Radomír Kuzel
Wulf Depmeier Jennifer L. Martin
Santiago García-Granda Masaki Takata

Other important decisions taken at the General Assembly included:

1. It was confirmed by the General Assembly that the 25th IUCr Congress will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2020 ( Melbourne, Australia, will host the 26th IUCr Congress in 2023.

2. Albania and Kosovo, Bangladesh, Singapore and Tunisia were accepted by the General Assembly to become new category I members of the IUCr.

3. Gender representation: the policy of the IUCr should provide a balance with respect to gender at all levels of Union activities. A resolution confirming this approach was presented and accepted at the General Assembly.

4. A new Prize in the name of W. H. & W. L. Bragg was established. See the article here for more information.

5. Chairs, Members and Consultants of IUCr Commissions for 2017-2020 were approved (for further information, see

The IUCr Finance and Executive Committees met before and during the Congress. The IUCr has run a deficit in recent years and both committees identified savings and new income streams to address this deficit and to return the IUCr finances to safer grounds. New income streams include the Associates programme (, which was launched during the Congress; savings include reductions to honoraria and transferring the production of the IUCr Newsletter to Chester.

Here are some other updates from the Executive Committee and the Congress:

1. IUCr Journals are doing well despite the fact that the publishing environment is very challenging. The journals are the main source of financing for all IUCr activities.

2. In January 2016, the IUCr launched a new open-access data publication, IUCrData (, which enables authors to rapidly publish brief, peer-reviewed Data Reports on individual crystal structures.

3. A detailed list of the schools and meetings supported by the IUCr is provided at Proposals for future meetings must be submitted nine months in advance. All the schools applying for IUCr financial support must obtain a Letter of Support from the IUCr Teaching Commission. The IUCr recommends that the presentations of the young scientists supported by the IUCr should be in English.

4. UNESCO supported 17 scientists from Africa (excluding South Africa) with partial bursaries to attend IUCr2017.

5. The Executive Committee created the IUCr Outreach and Education Fund (see This Fund supports activities such as the Africa initiative, IUCr-UNESCO OpenLabs and similar.

6. The IUCr successfully applied to the International Centre for Theoretical Physics and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) for funding of a joint workshop in Senegal in 2017; see

7. The Lightsources for Africa, the Americas and Middle East Project (LAAMP) promotes utilisation of light-source and crystallographic sciences to facilitate the enhancement of knowledge and improve the economic and social conditions in targeted regions of the world. For this project the IUCr is partnering with IUPAP and ICSU to enhance Advanced Light Sources (AdLSs) and crystallographic sciences in Africa, the Caribbean, Mexico and the Middle East. See the article here.

8. During the Congress a symposium in honour of Bill Duax was organized by Narasinga Rao. There was also a symposium in honour of Howard Flack, which was organized by the European Crystallographic Association.

Finally, as signalled previously, Mike Dacombe, IUCr Executive Secretary since 1993, retired at the end of the Hyderabad Congress. During both opening and closing ceremonies, IUCr President Marv Hackert sincerely thanked Mike for all the years of his excellent service to the crystallographic community. Alex Ashcroft was appointed the new Executive Secretary. He started in July 2017 and his email address is

Hanna Dabkowska, IUCr Vice-President