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IUCr 1996 Report - Commission on Small Angle Scattering

The creation of a Commission on Small-Angle Scattering (SAS) was first suggested at the Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association in Montreal in July 1995. At that time, a Working Group was established with Dr J. Barnes of NIST (USA) as Chair and Dr T. Sabine of ANSTO (Australia) as Co-Chair. By February of 1996, these two had recruited six additional members to the Working Group.

The Working Group sponsored, under the leadership of Drs Barnes and Sabine, two sessions on small-angle scattering at the Seattle Congress. The Working Group also drafted Terms of Reference for a permanent SAS Commission. The working group approved these and presented them to the worldwide SAS community at the X International Conference on Small-Angle Scattering (SAS-96) in Campiñas, São Paolo, Brazil, in July 1996. The draft Terms of Reference were forwarded to the IUCr Executive Committee in time for the Seattle General Assembly to approve formation of the Commission on Small-Angle Scattering as a permanent entity.

Since that time, the Commission members have been mainly engaged in `community building'. Dr Barnes has established a site on the World Wide Web (http://www.nist.gov/sas) which the worldwide SAS community can use to communicate with one another. Up-to-date details on all matters regarding the Commission's membership, its history, and its activities can be found at that address. The community's Internet listserver has in excess of 260 subscribers as of this writing. The Commission is attempting to expand this list to include as many practitioners of SAS as possible. Additional content, in the form of links to SAS laboratories and SAS literature compilations, are being sought for the Web site.

Commission member A. Craievich deserves special recognition for organizing and promoting the X International Conference on Small-Angle Scattering. This event, held in Campiñas, São Paolo, Brazil, brought together over 250 SAS practitioners from all over the world for four days of outstanding technical sessions. A visit to the newly commissioned Brazilian National Synchrotron Light Laboratory was a highlight of the meeting. The proceedings of the conference, co-edited by A. Craievich, G. Kostorz and J. Teixeira, will be published in the Journal of Applied Crystallography in 1997.

Preparations are under way for the XI International SAS Conference, to be held at Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA, in the spring of 1999.

A preliminary technical agenda has been drafted and the Commission is recruiting volunteers to carry out parts of that agenda. The Commission is cooperating with the Small-Angle Special Interest Group of the American Crystallographic Association to sponsor three sessions at the 1997 ACA Annual Meeting in St Louis, Missouri, USA. A series of tutorial sessions on Small-Angle Scattering for the Industrial Plastics Laboratory is planned for the 1998 Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC meeting. These activities are part of an outreach effort aimed at bringing SAS methods into more widespread use in the world materials community. Proposals for inter-laboratory testing programs are being formulated.

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Updated 14th February 1997

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