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ACA Council Meeting Highlights, July 2013

[Patrick Loll] Patrick Loll

President Cheryl Stevens announced that the program chairs for the 2014 annual meeting in Albuquerque, NM, will be Petrus Zwart and Christine Beavers. In an update on the new ACA journal, Structure and Dynamics, Judy Flippen-Anderson reported that an editorial board has been formed, and a temporary website set up. Policies are being set to encourage submissions from ACA members, notably a discounted publication fee for members.

Considerable discussion was devoted to the International Year of Crystallography 2014 (IYCr2014), and specifically to how the ACA could best support this initiative. Vice president Martha Teeter has assembled an International Year of Crystallography 2014 task force, which is considering a wide range of relevant topics, including schools outreach, media, web outreach, funding, and liaisons with politicians and other scientific organizations. Council decided that the ACA should commit some funds to activities related to IYCr2014 in North America, and agreed on a sum of $20k. This is approximately equal to the organization's dividend income for a year, which means this amount can be committed without dipping into reserves. Funds will be allocated via a call for proposals, which will be coordinated by the IYCr2014 task force.

The 2013 class of ACA fellows was approved, and the names were announced at the banquet during the Hawaii meeting. The 6 new fellows are: Sidney Abrahams, Wim Hol, Jim Ibers, Alex McPherson, Keith Moffat and Alex Wlodawer.

Past President George Phillips reported that many inconsistent and outdated items have accumulated in the ACA by-laws, owing to years of neglect. He has embarked on an effort to streamline and update this important document, but warned that this will be an ongoing and iterative process. Given the strategic process that was initiated earlier this year, this is an opportune time to address this problem.

Council has also decided to try a new policy of using videoconferencing for their spring and fall meetings, in order to save money. The first test of this approach will be at the Council meeting this fall.

Patrick Loll, ACA Secretary