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IUCr 1994 Report - European Crystallographic Committee (ECC)

The main event of the ECC activities in 1994 was the 15th European Crystallographic Meeting (ECM-15) in Dresden, Germany (28 August-2 September) with 775 registered participants and 65 accompanying persons (at the preceding ECM-14 in Enschede, The Netherlands, 2-7 August 1992, there were 450 participants). 820 abstracts were received but some were rejected, in particular because of non-registration of the presenting authors in time. The normal registration fee was DM250. For students, a reduced registration fee of DM50 was available. About 60% of participants registered before the deadline and paid a reduced registration fee. Financial support was obtained from the IUCr (for young scientists), the Free State of Saxony, the International Science Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft and The Netherlands Association of Crystallography. There were 146 applications for support, of which 84 received some financial help to the sum of DM40000. 38 young scientists were supported by the IUCr. Most of the support went to the scientists from Eastern and Central Europe. The total income and expenditure of the Conference totalled DM350 000.

The Conference agenda included 10 Plenary Lectures, 21 Microsymposia and 4 poster sessions. The book of abstracts contains 618 abstracts on all traditional and `hot' topics of modern crystallography. Several commercial and non-commercial exhibitions (modern equipment, computing facilities, software, books) and demonstrations as well as ad hoc Meetings and panel discussions were well organized.

The Conference was accompanied by a rather large, interesting and diverse social programme, special events and tours, including an evening lecture (one of the Plenary Lectures) by Professor A. Authier (Paris) on Real and Ideal Crystals, attended by an audience broader than participants of the ECM-15, the Conference excursion in `Saxon Switzerland', a performance of the Dresden Opera, a sightseeing tour of Dresden, a trip to Meissen with its world-famous porcelain factory and a visit to the Gallery of the Old Masters (the Zwinger Museum), and a Saxon farewell evening.

As usual, ECM-15 was supplemented by interesting Satellite and related Meetings: the Second European Symposium on X-ray Topography and High-Resolution Diffraction (Berlin, Germany, 5-7 September), the 16th General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association (Pisa, Italy, 4-9 September), the Aperiodic '94 International Conference on Aperiodic Crystals (Lausanne, Switzerland, 18-22 September), the XVI Conference on Applied Crystallography (Cieszyn, Poland, 22-26 August), a Meeting on Practical Aspects of Crystal Structure Analysis (Dresden, Germany, 26-28 August), a Workshop on High-Pressure Crystallography (Dresden, Germany, 3 September) and the especially productive traditional pre-ECM-15 (now the ninth) Symposium on Organic Crystal Chemistry OCC94 (Poznan-Rydzyna, Poland, 23-27 August). The latter had 130 registered participants (60 local and 70 foreign) and numerous unregistered. 22 participants were sponsored by Poznan University, the Batory Foundation, the IUCr, the Polish Committee of Crystallography and the Polish Scientific Research Committee. The scientific programme covered 20 invited lectures (including a Special Plenary Lecture by the Nobel Prize winner, Professor J. Karle), 16 oral communications and over 80 posters. A special scientific session was held to commemorate the late Profesor M. C. Etter.

During ECM-15, the Meeting of the European Crystallographic Committee (ECC) was held on 31 August. The Representative of the IUCr Executive Committee, Professor A. Kálmán, and 26 delegates from 29 member countries (including 5 new members) were present, as well as the Chairman (K. Huml), the Vice-chairman (H. Fuess) and the Secretary (H. Flack) of the ECC Executive and the Chairmen of the Organizing Committees of ECM-15 (P. Paufler), ECM-16 (A. Oskarsson) and the future ECM-17 in 1997 (Representatives of the three potential host countries) and several guests.

The minutes of the ECC Meeting in Enschede at ECM-14 (3 August 1992) and of its informal Meeting at the Beijing Congress (25 August 1993) were approved without modification. In his report, the ECC Chairman Professor K. Huml pointed out that the ECC Newsletter had been stopped because of the appearance of the IUCr Newsletter and the computerized information systems CONCISE and WWW. Moreover, attempts to coordinate the organization of Conferences (Workshops, Schools) of interest to crystallographers in Europe have met no success.

By open vote, five new member countries of the ECC were elected: Russia, the Czech and Slovak Republics (joint membership), Serbia, Estonia and Moldova (Georgia's request for collaboration was not voted on because of the lack of a Representative and the as yet limited contacts with the country's crystallographers).

Professor A. Oskarsson reported on ECM-16 in Lund, Sweden, 6-11 August 1995, and the delegates and guests made some useful proposals. Now all information on this Meeting is published in the second circular and on the crystallographic WWW server in Geneva.

After presentation of the various invitations (by J. Hasek for Prague, M. O. Figueiredo for Lisbon and K. El Sayed for Cairo), Portugal was chosen as the site for ECM-17 in 1997. Further invitations are very welcome for future ECM's.

Among reports on other activities, J. Drenth and K. Wilson presented their ESF network on biological macromolecules, A. Preisinger described the past and future Meetings of European Powder Diffraction Conferences (EPDIC) and H. D. Flack reported on the good progress of WDC9.

The traditional discussion on the formation of the European Crystallographic Association (ECA) and collaboration with other parties concerned with crystallography in Europe took place. Earlier, there were various suggestions about the formation of the ECA. However, some members of the ECC consider formation of the Association unneccessary as its aims and objectives will coincide with those of the ECC. H. Fuess remarked that the new ECC would definitely produce a set of varied proposals corresponding to the different models of the ECA as expressed by delegates. Hopefully, this problem will find a more constructive decision at ECM-16 in Lund.

Elections to the new Executive of the ECC were performed according to the IUCr rules and its period of office is 1994-1997. The new officers are Professor Harmut Fuess (Germany), Chairman; Professor Joel Bernstein (Israel), Vice-chairman; Dr Arnold J. Smith (UK), Secretary.

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Updated 14th February 1997

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