On behalf of the Local Organising Committee of the 24th Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography, I thank you all for making this event a great success. The slideshow on this website shows a few of the many memories that we take away with us.
1748 participants from 73 countries attended this congress making it a truly international scientific gathering. These included 58 countries belonging to the Union, and – perhaps more significantly – 15 countries yet to become members. Especially pleasing was representation the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Myanmar, Sub-Saharan Africa and Uzbekistan. The spread of our subject is now genuinely worldwide.
It brings me pleasure to note that more than 600 students and participants from India made their way to Hyderabad to attend this Congress. Many of them come from remote parts of this country and lesser known colleges and universities. I feel proud to then claim that this Congress found its way to the hinterlands of our country. Scientific events like this Congress should essentially have trickle-down effects that benefit the scientific community of the country at large. This Congress succeeded in doing that.
It is equally interesting that the next largest delegation at Hyderabad came from right across the globe, from the United States of America, which sent over 150 delegates to this Congress. The participation of 30 Chinese scientists and 19 from Bangladesh in the Hyderabad Congress is significantly higher than in our previous Congresses and I trust that this trend will continue.
Crystallography education is an important goal of the IUCr. A total of 16 outreach events in schools and colleges throughout India were conducted in run to this Congress including in the north-east India and the Kashmir valley. This being a continuation to several similar efforts put up during the International Year of Crystallography in 2014.
A total of 666 speakers shared their work and thoughts with us during the last eight days. The congress received 1757 abstracts out of which 1350 were selected for the program, either as oral presentations or posters.
700 posters were put up in the expo area and 20 Prizes for best posters in various categories were awarded.
I thank the 55 sponsors and 58 exhibitors for their role in making this congress successful.
With the help of funding bodies including the Science and Education Research Board of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the International Union of Crystallography, UNESCO/ICSU/IUPAP, and the Congress itself, 336 participations were supported through different bursary awards.
The core of IUCr Congress Programs is the presentation of the best research in crystallography in the world, and there can be no deviating from that. However, to widen the appeal of the Congress, new ideas and innovations in the programme should be experimented with. We hope the following ideas successfully tried here for the first time in an IUCr Congress would be able to contribute to future Congresses.
Special Activities – Nine special activity microsymposia covered topics that are of particular interest to the Union itself, such as standardization, data definitions, and education. There were also sessions for students from the emerging world to showcase the level of research capability in their countries.
The Parallel Program consisted of a number of science related subjects that do not fit into the traditional program format of our Congresses but are just as important if one wants a larger appreciation of what our science is all about. The spirit of the parallel program is exemplified by the giant model of the sodium chloride crystal structure, which is the creation of a young man from Austria, Dr. Robert Krickl.
Special mention must be made of The Dragons’ Den competition which was very popular with students and consumed two full sessions. 45 candidates competed for 4 prizes despite minimal publicity. If defined and publicized from the beginning as a part of the Congress, this competition can become a major feature of the Congress for promoting young researchers.
The parallel program and the special activity microsymposia were held during the same time slots as the regular microsymposia and effectively gave a choice of attending one of ten possible events going on at that time.
E-posters – eposters seem to be the future of poster presentations, as they are easier to prepare, transport and display as compared to paper posters. e-posters were received well, and more than 450 e-posters were submitted, even though it was not compulsory for poster presenters to do so.
E-abstracts were linked to the IUCr journals ,which were all free access from within the conference venue during this meeting.
The 24th Congress owes a sincere debt of thanks to the members of the International Program Committee, the Local Organising Committee, our Sponsors who are listed on this home page, and to our PCO, KW Conferences.
See you in Prague!
Prof Gautam Desiraju
Chair, Local Organising Committee