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IUCr 1996 Report - Commission on Structural Chemistry

The Commission met twice during the Seattle Congress. The outgoing Commission members met before the General Assembly sessions and the new Commission members met after the General Assembly had concluded its business.

At the first meeting, the retiring Chair, Professor F. H. Herbstein, reported that he had met with the Executive Committee to discuss membership of the Commission for the next triennium and to bring them up to date on the Commission's current activities and tentative future plans. There was also discussion at the meeting concerning the request of the single-crystal electron diffractionists to split from the Commission on Electron Diffraction and join this Commission. The result of that discussion was to have one seat on the Commission occupied by an electron diffractionist and to add up to two consultants from this area. Professor Herbstein also made a suggestion to the Executive Committee that they set up a Working Group to study the ''position and future of `small molecule' crystallography''. The suggestion was taken under advisement.

Professor Y. Ohashi asked for sponsorship for a meeting in Japan on the Analysis and Design of Solid-State Organic Reactions to be held 30 September-2 October 1996. The programme included many excellent and well known crystallographers drawn from a wide variety of countries. The Commission voted to support the request for sponsorship of this meeting.

Professor J. C. A. Boeyens requested sponsorship for Indaba II, a 5 day meeting for approximately 30 people from overseas and 60-70 people of various ages from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. No details of the programme were presented but since the first meeting was very well organized with high-quality papers, it was decided to give tentative approval for sponsorship with final approval awaiting further details.

The Commission was quite active in contributing to the programme for the Seattle Congress. The Programme Chairman, Dr W. L. Duax, was a former Commission Chair and three members of the current Commission served on the Programme Committee (F. H. Herbstein, J. A. K. Howard and J. Flippen-Anderson) and there were several sessions organized by Commission members: two sessions on Hot Structures (J. A. K. Howard and J. Flippen-Anderson); Solid State Reactions (F. H. Herbstein and E. Boldyreva); and Intermolecular Interactions (Y. Ohashi). An open Commission meeting on Small Molecule Crystallography of the Future was organized by R. Boese and R. Harlow. All sessions were well attended and well received. Reviews have been published in the IUCr Newsletter.

The General Assembly approved the change of name of the Commission to Commission on Structural Chemistry.

At the meeting of the new Commission members, there was discussion of the possibility of expanding the programme of the Commission to include such areas as solid-state chemistry and supramolecular assemblies. Professor G. Desiraju agreed to investigate such possibilities and report back to the Commission. J. Flippen-Anderson was asked to continue as Secretary.

J. A. K. Howard, Programme Chair for the Glasgow Congress, was present and discussed her plans for the Glasgow programme. She asked for input on programme topics and the following suggestions were among those put forward by various members of the Commission: (1) concerns with the quality of data; (2) molecular modelling; (3) crystal structure prediction including the areas of molecular interactions and recognition; (4) solid-state NMR and other upcoming new methods; (5) instrumentation; (6) anomalous dispersion - usefulness in small-molecule crystallography; (7) bio-inorganic crystallography; and (8) electron diffraction. J. A. K. Howard also announced that the 1998 Erice School, Co-Chaired by F. H. Allen and herself, would be on Chemical Kinetics - Statistical and Dynamic Aspects of Crystallography.

During the meeting, more information became available concerning the programme for Indaba II and the Commission voted to give its official support. Support was also approved for the Symposium on Organic Crystal Chemistry, 17-21 August 1997, Poznan-Rydzyna, Poland.

The Commission has a Web page which can be accessed through the IUCr home page.

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Updated 14th February 1997

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