Ready, steady, go
The International Year of Crystallography has been formally launched with an online press conference on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Messages from the UNESCO Director General, Irina Bokova, IUCr President, Gautam R. Desiraju, and the science writer Georgina Ferry, author of famous biographies, including those of Dorothy Hodgkin and Max Perutz, introduced the release of the launching video of IYCr2014. The video 'What crystallography can do for you', created by Juanma García-Ruiz (U. Granada and CSIC) and Javier Trueba (Madrid Scientific Film), with the support of the IUCr staff, highlights the role of crystallography in different fields, from medicine and health to new materials, from farming to cultural heritage, and has already received more than 4,000 views since its release on the IUCr YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/theIUCr). After the screening of the video, journalists took part in a Q&A session moderated by Jonathan Agbenyega, the new IUCr Business Development Manager, and featuring Mike Glazer from U. Oxford. Extensive media coverage followed the press conference, with articles appearing, among others, in El País and on BBC News. All this material, some of which has been translated into different languages, is now available on the web site at www.iycr2014.org/about/media-kit.
As stressed by the President in his Letter, translation of documents into as many languages as possible is a fundamental vehicle to spread the knowledge of crystallography and fully exploit the efforts that are being made for IYCr2014. Everyone who can volunteer to help with translation is invited to contact the IUCr office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Several new events celebrating crystallography and IYCr2014 have been added to the Calendar of events (www.iycr2014.org/events). Moreover, the IYCr2014 website has been enriched with a lot of new content, which we hope will help popularize crystallography and also provide useful tools for the expert. Take some time to explore www.iycr2014.org, download new posters and calendars, and discover all its new sections and features.
A great project that has just been launched is the 'Timelines of Crystallography', developed by Marv Hackert (U. Texas at Austin) and Brian McMahon (IUCr): browse the different categories at www.iycr2014.org/timeline and discover how crystallography developed through the centuries and contributed to the advancement of science.
The project of involving children worldwide in a crystal-growing experiment, coordinated by Luc Van Meervelt (Katholieke U. Leuven), is also expanding rapidly. New countries are now starting their own competitions, and new tools for newcomers are available at www.iycr2014.org/participate/crystal-growing-competition, including a downloadable brochure and a brand new video explaining step-by-step how to grow a single crystal.
Crystallography permeates our lives and is visible to the crystallographer's eyes in the objects of everyday life. The IUCr, in partnership with Agilent Technologies, has launched the photo competition 'Crystallography in everyday life'. Send your best photographs under this theme and do not miss the opportunity to win one of the two 1,000 US$ bursaries to go to Montreal for the IUCr Congress (August 5-12, 2014), where a special exhibition will be set up with the best photographs submitted. Find all details at www.iycr2014.org/participate/photo-competition.
The 23rd IUCr Congress (www.iucr2014.org) will be a special occasion for discussing and celebrating IYCr2014. A specific session will be dedicated to the Year and I would like to invite contributions about all the activities organized or planned at global, national or local level.Michele Zema (email@example.com), IUCr Project Manager for IYCr2014