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IUCr 1996 Triennial Report - Commission on Small Molecules

Details of Commission activities are given in the annual reports. Here the background and an overview are given in more general terms. It is no secret that the centre of gravity of crystallographic structure determination has shifted from small molecules to macromolecules of biological interest. And yet small-molecule crystallography still has an essential role to play in the continued development of our subject. Crystals with cell dimensions in the Å range are much easier to handle than those in the hundreds of Å range; the structures can be analysed in much greater depth, in much more detail and with much greater precision. There is greater hope of relating physical properties and structure and the information gathered may even, one day, enable us to predict crystal structures. Each of us will be able to add more specific contentions to this list. Thus, the Commission has endeavoured to encourage activities at the cutting edge of current capabilities, to broaden contacts with other methodologies, and to bring these developments through refereed publications to the notice of a much wider audience than can hope to attend particular meetings. This has been done on a broad (but not broad enough) geographical basis, with meetings in China, North America, eastern and western Europe and South Africa. Extension to other Asian countries and South America still remains to be accomplished. The envisaged change in name to Commission on Structural Chemistry will hopefully not be only semantic; organic crystal chemistry has been encouraged and inorganic neglected and this imbalance needs to be corrected.

25 April 1996 F. H. HERBSTEIN , Chairman


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Updated 16th October 1997

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