At the Perth Congress in 1987, a High-Pressure Group was established within the Commission on Crystallographic Apparatus to represent and support high-pressure crystallography. The subsequent decade has seen an extraordinary growth in the range and quality of high-pressure diffraction studies - particularly using powder methods - on both synchrotron and neutron sources. This has been stimulated by the power of present-day sources, and by major developments in detectors and high-pressure technology. The High-Pressure Group maintained a high level of activity from its inception, with a series of international workshops, starting in Munich in 1989. This culminated in a major effort by the Group for the Seattle Congress, which saw a celebration of a fertile and exciting decade in two keynote lectures and six microsymposia spanning the current range of science and techniques. At the same Congress, it was decided to create this new Commission. This was a very welcome development, but unexpected; it became known to members only at the Congress itself.
In the short time since the Congress, there has not yet been any other activity. However, Commission members have been engaged in advising on the format and programme of a one-day symposium, supported by the Commission, organized as part of the International Association for the Advancement of High Pressure Science and Technology Conference, to be held in Japan in August 1997; and planning has started for an international workshop to be held at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, in France, in the autumn of 1997. This, too, will be supported by the Commission. An active first year for the new Commission is thus already in prospect.
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