Gold and Silver: Treasures of European Crystallography

The year 2022 brings challenges of political and economic instability, an ongoing virus pandemic, and military confrontation on European soil; despite this gloomy context, the European Crystallographic Association has good reason to celebrate.  As ECA, we are looking back on 50 years of European Crystallographic Meetings and at the formal foundation of our Association 25 years ago.  At ECM33 in Versailles let us therefore come together to mark the Gold and Silver Anniversaries of the European Crystallographic Meetings and the European Crystallographic Association!

To organize regular conferences that bring together the European crystallographic community in all its scientific breadth and glory, the European Crystallographic Committee (ECC) was established in 1972 in Kyoto (Japan) as an informal grouping of representatives from major European countries.  The first European Crystallographic Meeting (ECM1) was held a year later in Bordeaux (France).  Since 1973, ECMs were held every year other than those of IUCr Congresses, with the single exception of 2021 when ECM33 had to be postponed owing to the impact of Covid-19.  In those 50 years, ECMs were held not only in various European countries but also in Jerusalem (Israel, ECM7 1982), Durban (South Africa, ECM21 2003) and Marrakech (Morocco, ECM24 2007).  Recent ECMs have attracted audiences exceeding one thousand participants.  Future meetings are scheduled for Padova (Italy, ECM34 2024) and Lviv (Ukraine, ECM35 2025).

ECM17 in Lisbon (Portugal, 1997) witnessed the foundation of the European Crystallographic Association.  Directly as individual or corporate ECA members, or indirectly through their national crystallo­graphic committees or societies as national members of ECA, most practising European crystallographers are affiliated with the European Crystallographic Association.  In addition to providing the framework for ECMs, ECA is also engaged in crystallographic teaching through the European Crystallography Schools since 2014 and it awards prestigious prizes including the Max Perutz Prize for meritorious achievements in any branch of crystallography.

At ECM33 in Versailles, past ECA presidents and other colleagues who helped shape the face of the European Crystallographic Meetings and the European Crystallographic Association will join us in celebrating our Gold and Silver Anniversaries.  You are cordially invited to be part of the event at 18:00 on Friday 26 August, prior to the Congress dinner.  We will share in a brief historical review and look to the future of our Association with hope and confidence.  Our present activities serve as a bridge between past achievements and future prospects, as represented in our event logo.