Women in Crystallography project

Annalisa Guerri

For the third time since its launch in Oviedo, Spain, at ECM31, and with a more international scope, the “Women in Crystallography” project is in the limelight again – this time in a different continent, with a very special host: our colleagues from down under in Melbourne. We thank all the crystallographers for the hospitality, and we hope we will be able to keep up with the tradition of making this T-shirt fundraising event a fabulous success. The T-shirts will be available at the Dectris, IUCr and STOE exhibition booths, all of which are supporting and sponsoring this initiative along with the ECA.

The money collected will be used to support more and more female crystallographers to attend congresses and schools around the world.

Take a picture of yourself wearing your T-shirt and post it on Twitter with the hashtags #Womenincrystallography #IUCr2023.

See you in Melbourne!

History of the “Women in Crystallography” logo

The “Women in Crystallography” project was launched in 2018 during the ECM31 in Oviedo thanks to the first organized microsymposium on Women in Crystallography (MS45). The Chairs of the microsymposium (Julia Contreras García and Annalisa Guerri) were asked to provide a logo and a motto for the MS to be shown at the beginning of the session. 

The logo originated from the worldwide famous “Photo 51”, the X-ray fiber diffraction image of DNA taken by Raymond Gosling, a graduate student working under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin. This pattern is an iconic symbol for crystallographers and represents female scientists in crystallography.

After a short email exchange, the following picture and wording below came to light for the introduction of the MS45:

[Fig. 1]

Starting from this idea, Laura Roches Fernández and Julia Contreras García elaborated the logo and gave birth to the one used to print the T-shirts. After a first draft, the logo was refined at the University of Oviedo as it appears below:

[Fig. 2]

The idea was also inspired by another project born in 2015: the “women under high pressure” movement with the aim to improve the participation of women, especially young scientists, at events around the world and to create a balanced attendance among participants and also among the speakers. 

N'oubliez jamais qu'il suffira d'une crise politique, économique ou religieuse pour que les droits des femmes soient remis en question. Ces droits ne sont jamais acquis. Vous devrez rester vigilantes votre vie durant.

Never forget that a political, economic, or religious crisis is enough to cast doubt on women’s rights. These rights will never be vested. You have to stay vigilant your whole life.” 

— Simone de Beauvoir

12 July 2023

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