“Isn’t every year international for crystallography?”
That’s a question I was asked, in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner, by an American structural chemist (who shall remain nameless) towards the end of 2013, as we discussed events planned for the forthcoming UNESCO International Year of Crystallography (IYCr). She had a point, though, as the year was set to show.
It is certainly the case that the user communities of the Cambridge Structural Database are spread around the world. We have users in 71 countries, so that’s by no means an idle claim, but the year started with the IYCr fanfare and the aim to spread the word about the value of crystallography. The opening ceremony, in Paris in January, was a grand affair, bringing together scientists, politicians and diplomats from around the world. Juliette Pradon presented from the stage details of our work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The IYCR roadshow then rolled on throughout 2014, energizing specialists and sparking wider interest through radio interviews, documentaries, feature articles, workshops – for specialists and the public - and many international meetings. I was lucky enough to attend the next IYCr congress in Pakistan, in April, where the CCDC’s Ghazala Sadiq presented on the advances we are making in understanding polymorphism and at the IUCr Congress in Montreal in August, where CCDC members gave several presentations and workshops.