Agilent OpenLab Turkey, September 1–5, 2014
Following the United Nations declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014), UNESCO and the IUCr have been planning scientific and public engagement events intended to increase the popularity and understanding of crystallography. The crystallography group in Dokuz Eylül University, being conscious that crystallographic teaching needs to educate students in the practical aspects of different areas of crystallography, organized an OpenLab meeting in partnership with IUCr, UNESCO and Agilent Technologies.
The IUCr-UNESCO OpenLab Turkey attracted about 56 applicants who were students, researchers and even some faculty from countries with close historical contacts with Turkey. The 45 selected delegates included post-docs, recent MSc and PhD graduate students, MSc students and one professor.
The scheduled dates of the courses in OpenLab Turkey were from September 1 to 5, 2014. Over the first four days of the workshop, fundamental aspects of a crystallographic investigation were presented in 11 lectures and 9 practical sessions. The international team of lecturers and instructors was composed of:
- Dinçer Ülkü (DÜ), Hacettepe U., Turkey;
- Ahmet Erdönmez (AE), Ondokuz Mayıs U., Turkey;
- Engin Kendi (EK), Hacettepe U., Turkey (former president of the Turkish Crystallographic Association);
- Orhan Büyükgüngör (OB), Ondokuz Mayıs U., Turkey (a Co-editor of Acta Crystallographica Section E);
- Daniel Baker (DB), Agilent Technologies;
- Horst Puschmann (HP), OlexSys Ltd;
- Stephen Astley (SA), Ege U., Turkey;
- Hasan Karabıyık (HK), Dokuz Eylül U., Turkey;
- Radek Kuzel, Charles U., Prague, Czech Republic (a member of the IUCr Executive Committee).
Details of the Scientific Program and the presentations of the meeting are available at http://iycropenlabturkey.org/.
The topics were carefully selected to cover the main aspects of crystallographic research, and were aimed at enabling each participant to independently solve and interpret a structure and to prepare a CIF file for publication. In the first two days, mostly intended for learning the fundamentals of crystallography, the main theoretical and practical characteristics of small-molecule single-crystal X-ray crystallography were covered. The principles underlying X-ray diffraction (AE), structure solution techniques (EK), data collection and reduction strategies (DB), structure determination on OlexSys (HP) and an introduction to supramolecular interactions (SA) were covered. The sessions in the subsequent two days concentrated on the applications of the principles given in the first two days. While doing these, structure refinement and details of reporting a structure (OB) were also taught, and the participants were informed about the Cambridge Structural Database and its applications (HK). The scientific program of OpenLab Turkey was concluded with an impressive and pleasurable presentation by Radek Kuzel.
During the meeting, the attendees took the opportunity to collect diffraction data from their own crystals and to prepare their structure reports in a computer laboratory. The final session, including a short oral exam, was organized to assess the level of understanding of the participants. In this session, succinctly prepared final structure reports were presented by participants in the morning of the last day of OpenLab Turkey. The success rate was highly encouraging. Certificates were awarded to the participants by the General Coordinator of OpenLab Turkey, Muhittin Aygün, and Radek Kuzel. The closing ceremony of the OpenLab Turkey was held on September 5 in the holiday resort of Dokuz Eylül U., enabling participants and lecturers to enjoy a good time together.
The successful development of the OpenLab Turkey was possible thanks to the full commitment of the lecturers, instructors and attendees, and the financial support provided by the IUCr, Agilent Technologies, the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority, Dokuz Eylül U. and the Turkish Crystallographic Association.Muhittin Aygün, Local Organizer