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IUCr 1994 Report - Commission on Small Molecules

The major achievement of the Commission during 1994 was undoubtedly the three-day Symposium (26-28 June) entitled New Trends in Small Moiety Crystallography held, in conjunction with the American Crystallographic Association, at the 1994 ACA Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The Symposium Organizing Committee [F. H. Herbstein (Haifa), Chairman; W. L. Duax (Buffalo); G. Ferguson (Guelph); Yu. T. Struchkov (Moscow)] set up a programme emphasizing the tremendous qualitative and quantitative changes to be expected in the nature of the next century's structural information because of the anticipated advances in experimental and computational diffraction techniques. Perhaps the appeal and the strength of the Symposium lay in the fact that about half of the topics were not `pure' diffraction and that about half of the invited speakers would not class themselves as professional diffractionists. Eight of the speakers were from North America, four from the United Kingdom, eleven from Europe and two from Asia; four were under 35, describing their own research. The topics covered included direct methods, synchrotron and neutron sources and techniques, low temperatures and their advantages, perfect crystals, chemical theory, arrangements of atoms and molecules in crystals, comprehensive multidimensional crystallography, electron microscopy, surface crystallography, diffuse scattering, thermal motion, reactions in crystals, thermodynamic studies, the chemical crystallography of high-Tc superconductors and single-crystal nuclear magnetic resonance and nuclear quadrupole studies. The proceedings will appear in a Special Issue of Acta Crystallographica Section B (August, 1995). The published papers (all refereed) will cover the same ground as the lectures but will be considerably extended.

Members of the Commission met in Atlanta during the ACA Meeting and in Dresden during the 15th European Crystallographic Meeting to discuss further activities, with special emphasis on the Commission's role at the Seattle Congress. An Open Meeting of the Commission and, possibly, a Satellite Meeting, are being considered, as well as nominations for Plenary Lecturers. Judith Howard is organizing, together with Hans-Beat Bürgi, a session on Intermolecular Interactions and Packing in Crystals at the 16th European Crystallography Meeting in Lund in August 1995. The Commission has approved (in so far as content is concerned) the Workshop on Inorganic Solids to be held at McGill, USA, 19-22 July 1995 (I. D. Brown) and the Small Molecules Indaba in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, 20-24 August 1995 (J. C. A. Boeyens). Other future Meetings are currently under consideration. The Commission will also be suggesting to the Executive Committee a change of name to Commission on Structural Chemistry.

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