About the IUCr

The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) is a scientific union adhering to the International Science Council (ISC). Its objectives are to promote international cooperation in crystallography and to contribute to all aspects of crystallography, to promote international publications of crystallographic research, to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols, and to form a focus on the relations of crystallography to other types of sciences.

The IUCr fulfils these objectives by publishing in print and electronically primary scientific journals through Crystallography Journals Online, the series of reference volumes International Tables for Crystallography, distributing the quarterly IUCr Newsletter, maintaining the online World Directory/Database of Crystallographers, awarding the Ewald Prize and organising the triennial Congress and General Assembly.

The triennial congresses of the IUCr are the major international scientific meetings for crystallographers world wide. Each congress includes one or more sessions of the General Assembly which approves the policies of the Union. The next Congress will be the 25th and will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, 14-22 August 2021.

IUCr Freedom and gender policy

The Organizing Committee of the IUCr2021 observes the basic policy of non-discrimination and affirms the right and freedom of scientists to associate in international scientific activity without regard to factors such as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political stance, gender, sex or age, in accordance with the Statutes of the International Council for Science.

No barriers, which would prevent the participation of bona fide scientists, will exist at this meeting.

Special attention is given to gender balance in all the IUCr2021 programme (speakers, co-chairs).

What is crystallography?

A few words by the IUCr president in the IUCr newsletter

About the Congress

Modern crystallography is an interdisciplinary subject covering structural biology, pharmacy and chemistry to physics and materials science. It includes the study of protein structures and also the crystals structures and microstructures of minerals, new functional materials, nanoparticles, bulk materials, and thin films. It is interested also in the relationship between the structure and function of materials. Important related topics is development of instrumental techniques for structural characterization of materials including large facilities XFELs, synchrotrons and neutron sources but also continuous improvement of laboratory equipments, development of optics, better and faster detectors.

The core methods of crystallography are X-ray and neutron scattering. However, mainly in last decade, it includes electron diffraction and microscopy, NMR and different spectroscopies. This development also allows investigation of structural changes under extreme conditions such as high and low temperatures, high pressures, time-resolved studies, different in-situ experiments in external fields (magnetic, electric), chemical reactions.

The scope of the congress comprises all this. Moreover, this is the 25th anniversary congress and completes one era of these congresses that started in 1948.

The congress programme is prepared by the International Programme Committee representing mainly the IUCr commissions that are also the main focus of the congress: Aperiodic Crystals, Biological Macromolecules, Quantum Crystallography, Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials, Crystallographic Computing, Crystallographic Nomenclature, Crystallographic Teaching, Crystallography in Art and Cultural Heritage, Crystallography of Materials, Electron Crystallography, High Pressure, Inorganic and Mineral Structures, Magnetic Structures, Mathematical and Theoretical Crystallography, Neutron Scattering, NMR Crystallography and Related Methods, Powder Diffraction, Small-Angle Scattering, Structural Chemistry, Synchrotron and XFEL Radiation, XAFS.

About the Organizers

The main organizer is the Czech and Slovak Crystallographic Association (CSCA, https://www.xray.cz). This association publishes its own crystallographic journal Materials Structure and organizes annual meetings (www.xray.cz). The CSCA has organized several international conferences in the past. It began a series of Size-Strain meetings in 1995, organized the European Crystallographic Meeting (ECM-18 in 1998, with 1200 participants), the European Powder Diffraction Conference (EPDIC-IX in 2004, 330 participants), XTOP – the X-ray topography and high-resolution konference (2004 in Prague, 2016 in Brno, 150 participants), Aperiodic 2015 (Prague, 130 participants) and the International Conference on Crystallization of Biological Macromolecules (ICCBM-16, 2016, 200 participants). During these meetings, we succeeded to put together an organizing team of enthusiastic colleagues and volunteers having now invaluable experience. Because of its size, the congress is organized in a close cooperation with PCO Auletris (https://www.auletris.com).

About Prague and Prague Congress Centre

We are inviting crystallographers from all over the world to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the principal European cities with a long history. Its original medieval monuments are attractive for visitors from any part of the world and its modern infrastructure makes it easily accessible and friendly. The congress will take place in the modern and well-equipped Prague Congress Center that has already hosted several large congresses, the largest of which were NATO Summit in 2002 (8,000 participants), the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group (17,000 participants), and some international medical conferences. The center has five halls for 400 3,000 people and 8 rooms with capacity of about 100 people (https://www.praguecc.cz ). The total number of meeting rooms is 50 and exhibition space covers 13000 m2. The conference center is located within a walking distance from the city center and offers a magnificent view of the historical part of the city including the Prague Castle.

Praha has an accommodation capacity of about 100,000 visitors. There are almost 800 guest rooms in 4 or 5 star hotels in the immediate vicinity of the congress centre. Many other hotels and dormitories in all categories and prices from 20 to 200 EUR per day are easily accessible via public transport in less than 30 minutes. Our frequently running and comfortable Metro ensures very fast transport from any part of Praha.

History of Crystallography in Czech Republic

Crystallography has long and rich tradition in the region of the former Czechoslovakia. It was cultivated under the auspices of two principal Czech scientific organizations, Charles University (founded in 1348), and the the Academy of Sciences (whose oldest predecessor was  the  Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences /”Královská česká společnost nauk”  founded in  1784). Johannes Kepler, known as a famous astronomer, during his stay in Prague (1600-1612) wrote a paper On hexagonal snow flake. This work is the oldest written document of the new era crystallography and deals with the outer symmetry seen in morphology of crystals as a reflection of the inner symmetry of matter, without any idea about the nature of building elements at that time. Ivan Puluj developed an X-ray emitting device as early as 1881 in Prague, Friedrich Reinitzer discovered liquid crystals there.