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Letter from the President

[Duax] William L. Duax

Since becoming president of the IUCr, I have had the opportunity to visit Moldova, Germany, Russia, Algeria, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, and Canada. In each country I met with crystallographers to discuss their strengths, goals, and needs. Brief reports on my visits to Moldova and Novosibirsk appear in this issue. I would like to visit crystallographers in all countries that adhere to the Union, but that is not possible. I have written letters to each of the members of the Executive Committee asking for their help in reporting on the activities of the Union in the 38 countries that currently belong to the Union. I have also asked for their help not only to expand Union activities in these countries, but to extend our services to the dozens of countries that are not presently members. I have asked them to take every opportunity when traveling abroad to offer to meet with crystallographers, as an official representative of the IUCr, and to discuss their needs. The Executive Committee has members in the three Regional Affiliate domains, AsCA (Y. Ohashi and Z. Zhang), ECA (L. Aslanov, M. Carrondo, D. Viterbo, G. Heger, S. Larsen, and H. Schenk) and ACA (I. Torriani and W. Duax).

I attended the biannual meeting of the Brazilian Crystallographic Soc. (BCO) in São Pablo, Brazil, where I was extremely impressed with the vibrancy of their crystallographic activities. Iris Torriani, Executive Committee member from Latin America is gathering material for an issue of the IUCr Newsletter that will highlight Crystallography in Brazil. The issue will include a report on the biannual meeting, a survey of crystallographic laboratories in Brazil, the structure, officers, by-laws and programs of the BCO and the Brazilian Nat’l Committee for Crystallography, a detailed report on the history and development of one laboratory, a report on the only synchrotron facility in the southern hemisphere and a brief summary of Iris Torriani’s current research activities and responsibilities.

I went to Florence to meet with Carlo Mealli, (program chair) and other members of the local committee for the 2005 IUCr Congress. While there I also had extended discussions with Italian representatives on IUCr Commissions and with Davide Viterbo, a newly elected member of the IUCr Executive Committee. The Italian Crystallographic Assn will be meeting in Triesti in May 2003. Davide has agreed to prepare a report on Crystallography in Italy having the same form and content as the report on Brazil.

I hope that these will be the first in a series of IUCr reports that will eventually cover all countries in the Union. I will be asking each member of the Executive Committee to take responsibility for developing such reports from the countries in their regional affiliate. Sine Larsen and Henk Schenk will see to it that reports on upcoming meetings of the Danish and Dutch Crystallographic Assn will be submitted to the IUCr. I urge Brazilian and Italian crystallographers to lend their support to Iris and Davide when they write their articles. I would be most happy to see crystallographers everywhere contact members of the executive committee and offer to assist them in preparing reports on crystallography detailing activities in their home countries.

At a meeting of the Finance Committee, we learned that authors submitting papers to Union journals currently come from 70 countries indicating that there is interest and activity in at least 20 countries that are not presently members of the IUCr.

Bill Duax