2011 IUCr Congress and General Assembly
XXII IUCr Congress and General Assembly, Madrid, August 22-30, 2011
The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) was held in Madrid, Spain, August 22-30, 2011. The members of the U.S. delegation were: KATHERINE A. KANTARDJIEFF (Chair) from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CHRISTOPHER CAHILL from George Washington University, JOSEPH NG from University of Alabama, Huntsville, BRIAN H. TOBY from Argonne National Laboratory, and VICTOR G. YOUNG JR. from University Minnesota. Also, two alternates attended the General Assembly: Bernhard Rupp from Q.E.D. Life Sciences Discoveries, Inc., and Angus P. Wilkinson from Georgia Institute of Technology. (photo copied from www.iucr2011madrid.es/)
Two representatives from the Americas were elected members of the Executive Committee of the union - Hanna Dabkowska (Ontario, Canada) and Marvin Hackert (Austin, U.S.) for six years.
Travel Fellowships for U.S. Early Career Crystallographers to the XXII IUCr Congress
The U.S. National Committee for Crystallography provided travel awards to partially support fifteen U.S. early career crystallographers to the IUCr Congress in Madrid, Spain. The USNC/Cr organized a series of events for the travel awardees:
- On August 23rd, a Mentoring Dinner was held for the U.S. travel awardees and their respective mentors. Travel awardees selected a U.S. senior crystallographer prior the Congress. A one-on-one mentoring experience was fostered during and after the Congress.
- On August 24th, a U.S.-Spain Reception was held for 200 crystallographers from the U.S., Spain, and Latin-America. The USNC/Cr, in collaboration with the Spaniards, organized the reception to foster collaborations between crystallographers in these regions. Major professors and their respective graduate students were invited, as well as our mentors and mentees.
- A Young Observers experience was organized for our travel fellows. The U.S. travel awardees were the first early career cohort attending the General Assembly as observers. This science policy experience facilitated the development of a future generation of cyrstallography leaders.
- The Young Observers are now socially connected through LinkedIn (USNC for Crystallography--Young Observers).
- Also, an invited speaker, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, founding director of the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence and a former professor of industrial engineering at the University of Central Florida shared her scholarly expertise in effective strategic leadership in undergraduate learning and mentoring. She spoke to the mentors and mentees about the importance and hallmarks of effective mentoring.
ACA Summer School
The ACA Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography was hosted at the University of Notre Dame from June 18 through June 27, 2012. Using private funds, the USNC/Cr continues to support international students attending the ACA Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography. This is a collaborative effort, jointly shared with Northwestern University who will be the course hosts in 2013. The ACA Summer Course has been a continual success for more than 25 years, instructing new crystallographers in both small molecule and powder diffraction techniques. The faculty is dedicated and always enthusiastic in disseminating their knowledge to the students.
Crystallography in the University Curricula
The USNC/IUCr, in collaboration with the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) authored the 2006 white paper Crystallography Education Policies for the Physical and Life Sciences: Sustaining the Science of Molecular Structure in the 21st Century. The policy document explores how crystallography fits into the undergraduate curriculum for different disciplines, and steps that can be taken to engage K-12 students in the field. Presentation posters related to this project were presented at several regional meetings at various scientific societies.
Background: In 2001 and 2003, the USNC/Cr Education Subcommittee conducted two surveys to determine the content and extent of coverage of crystallography in university curricula, as well as the views of the broader crystallographic community on the status of crystallography education and training in the United States, in both the physical and the life sciences. These surveys suggested that perhaps as a result of rapid technological advances in the field of modern crystallography, there appears to be a declining number of master practitioner crystallographers, as well as a lack of sufficient education and training in crystallography for individuals who wish to understand and/or use crystallography as a tool in their hypothesis-driven research. Recognizing the opportunity to communicate to the broader scientific community the research opportunities afforded by crystallography, as well as the value of crystallographic information, the education committees of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) and USNC/Cr organized an education summit, which took place June 1-2, 2005 at the conclusion of the ACA national meeting in Orlando, FL. Individuals known for their experience and contributions in crystallography education and training participated in this summit.
Latin American Initiative
At the spring 2005 American Chemical Society national meeting in San Diego, current IUCr chair Katherine Kantardjieff addressed an audience on the committee’s Latin American Initiative. The goal of the Latin American Initiative is to promote crystallography in Latin American countries and is a joint effort of the USNC/IUCr and the American Crystallographic Association.
The committee's continued interest in Latin America led to a working dinner at the Twenty-First General Assembly and International Congress of Crystallography in Osaka, Japan convened by U.S. and Mexico delegation chairs Jim Kaduk (INEOS Technologies) and Lauro Bucio Galindo (IFUNAM). Read more about outcomes from the Osaka General Assembly.