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Crystal Chemistry Symposium, Geneva, 6-7 Apr. 1993

Geneva, Switzerland, 6-7th. April 1993

On the occasion of the 65th birthday of Professor Erwin Parthé

The 1993 annual meeting of the Swiss Society for Crystallography (SGK) took place in Geneva, Switzerland on 6 -7 April 1993 on the occasion of the 65th birthday of Erwin Parthé, professor of structural crystallography at the University of Geneva. The symposium programme was planned to give a very broad and intense view of the current state and development in crystal chemistry in its broadest sense. The varied programme combined with the attraction of the 65th birthday of Erwin Parthé drew in well over 100 participants (a large number for a meeting of the SGK) both from inside and outside Switzerland. The symposium was held exclusively in English.

The symposium consisted of seven invited lectures, some 60 posters and half-a-dozen computer program demonstrations spread over one and a half days. Most unfortunately, one of the invited speakers, E. Gladyshevskii of the State University of L'viv in Ukraine was unable to be in Geneva to give his lecture and a last-minute replacement had to be found. The list of talks:

clearly testifies to the range and diversity of the subjects treated and it would be flippant to wish to try to decribe their content in a few lines.

In accordance with other meetings of the SGK, the poster exhibits were not limited to the subject of the symposium itself, but any work of a crystallographic nature could be presented. One criticism coming from the participants was the lack of time to study the posters. The programme had been planned on the assumption that ca 30-35 posters would be submitted and in the end there was about twice this number.

The abstracts of the invited talks and the poster submissions were available at the symposium in a printed booklet with a blue cover page showing a drawing of the famous Geneva fountain pouring out polyhedra of different shapes and sizes. A supplement to this booklet was also printed containing over 10 late poster abstracts and other last-minute arrangements. Whereas there is still a good supply of the supplements available, unfortunately the stock of the original booklets is now exhausted.

By way of relaxation and a social programme, the symposium participants were able to listen to an excellent recital given in the beautiful main concert room of the musical conservatoire in Geneva by Klaus Maurer (violin), Denis Guy (cello) and Benedetta Simonati (piano). These musicians gave very sensitive interpretations of the Trio Op. 97 in B flat major 'The Archduke' by Beethoven and the Trio Op. 49 in D Minor by Mendelssohn. Following the concert, a get-together party had been organised in the Cha^teau Barillet, a period residence surrounded by vineyards in the Geneva countryside.

The symposium was financed by the University of Geneva, the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences, the International Union of Crystallography and the Swiss Society for Crystallography. The contribution of the IUCr was entirely devoted to paying for living expenses in Geneva for scientists from East Europe who had been able to find their own travelling expenses. Much to our surprise, the symposium was able to welcome 6 people in this category: 3 coming from the State University of L'viv, Ukraine; 3 from the Lomonsov Moscow State University, Russia; and 1 from the University of Cluj, Romania.

H.D. Flack

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