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The IUCr needs you!

[Balloon] Photo courtesy of Sem Gorfman and Mohamed Ateya.

Even though IYCr2014 is over, we are committed to continuing the excellent work and outreach initiated by you during the year. To help achieve this goal we have created the IYCr2014 Legacy Fund (

The aim of the IYCr Legacy Fund is to support the following:

to continue promotion of the fundamental role crystallography plays in the different branches of science, including chemistry, mineralogy, physics, biology, medicine, materials science, cultural heritage and geosciences;

to target governments by interacting with them and advising on the design of policies that will support the establishment and operation of crystallography teaching, ranging from modernising existing crystallography teaching material in schools and universities to developing closer collaborative ties with crystallography centres across the world as well as synchrotron and other large-scale facilities;

to continue to increase awareness of the way crystallography underpins most of the technological developments in modern society, and also its role in art and cultural heritage, via public conferences, sponsorship of poster exhibitions highlighting the usefulness and marvels of crystallography and by the commissioning and submission of articles to the press, television and other media on the contribution crystallography makes to the global economy.

'Of course, a lasting legacy from the International Year of Crystallography is not just related to outreach activities taking place during the year. It is also about creating lasting initiatives in our schools, colleges, universities and other places of learning to continue the message about the importance of crystallography. We want to see a nation of youngsters being inquisitive about crystallography and governments enabling schools and colleges with opportunities to teach crystallography alongside the core science disciplines currently featured. This can't happen overnight; however, with the launch of the IYCr Legacy Fund we stand a real chance to accomplish these goals, by continuing many of the initiatives launched during the Year'. Peter Strickland, Executive Managing Editor, IUCr.

A major initiative of IYCr2014 was to promote international cooperation and capacity building through the OpenLab scheme ( We will continue with the successful OpenLab program in 2015; if you would like to suggest a new OpenLab, please contact Michele Zema, IYCr2014 Project Manager at OpenLabs are a network of operational crystallographic laboratories based in different countries worldwide, many in less endowed regions of Africa, South and Central America and South Asia. They are aimed at allowing access to crystallographic knowledge and technology in all parts of the world, key for the fruitful development of science, and to open possibilities for conducting high-level research.

Another highly successful event that took place during IYCr2014 (September 10–19) was the IUCr-UNESCO OpenFactory ( with the sponsorship and active participation of STOE, DECTRIS and Xenocs. It brought together 20 young scientists from 15 different countries in an intensive and stimulating training programme in theoretical and practical aspects of X-ray crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering. The participants had the opportunity to discuss recent research results, learn from highly experienced XRD users, and build up networks. After ten days of intensive learning, the young scientists and guest scientist left having made new friends and collaborative partnerships for the future. If you were involved in the OpenFactory or would like to organise a new event, please get in touch with Jonathan Agbenyega, IUCr Business Development Manager, at

A number of projects aimed at capturing the imagination of schoolchildren were launched around the exciting science of crystal growing. Materials for a crystal-growing competition were supplied to selected schools belonging to the UNESCO Associated Schools Network. The IYCr2014 website ( was used to catalogue a number of existing national or regional crystal-growing competitions, and to provide materials, educational videos and guidelines to encourage the start of new competitions, to continue well after the International Year draws to a close. Please contact Jonathan Agbenyega at if you would like to run or be involved in organising a crystal-growing competition in your region.

A paper entitled 'IYCr2014: Spreading the Word About Crystallography in an International Year' by Brian McMahon and Michele Zema of the IUCr ( describes in more detail activities that have taken place throughout the International Year.

There can be no doubt that the International Year has celebrated the success of modern crystallography, and has set in motion several initiatives to make it a subject known to and understood by a new generation and new students worldwide. We look towards you – our many friends and colleagues – to keep the flame we created in 2014 for crystallography glowing ever brightly. We hope you will join with us as, Crystallography matters … more!

To donate to the IYCr Legacy Fund, please go to

13 February 2015