The 24th Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) 2017wasinaugurated today at Hyderabad International Convention Center (HICC). The inauguration of the Congress will be followed by seven days of scientific sessions. The inauguration of the Congress was graced by renowned scientists, Prof. Marvin Hackert, President, IUCr, Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt of India, Prof. Mike Glazer, Vice President, IUCr, Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India,Dr. Michael Heinz, Director Austrian Culture Forumand Prof. Gautam R. Desiraju, Chair, Organizing Committee. In this event, the highly prestigious Ewald prize lecture will be delivered by Sir Tom Blundell, a distinguished structural biologist at the University of Cambridge.
Crystallography is nothing but the study of crystals. Sugar, ice and grains of common salt are examples of crystals. Crystals are everywhere from bones to rocks to pharmaceutical drugs. The impressive properties and the beautiful symmetry of crystalline materials come from the arrangement of their molecular or atomic constituents.
The International Year of Crystallography was celebrated in 2014 under the leadership of the immediate Past President of IUCr, Prof. G. R.Desiraju. This Congress will therefore offer, in addition to all the rest, new networking opportunities amongst scientists and crystallographers from all over the world.This is expected to create immense outreach for academia and industry, especially in the host country, India.
Hyderabad is an important pharmaceutical hub in India, with more than 100 pharmaceutical industries located both within the city and its environs. Hence, several pharma participants are participating in this event.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. G. R.Desiraju, an eminent Crystallographer and Chair, Organizing committee said, “It is a proud moment and a great opportunity for Indian crystallographers to welcome the world scientists to the 24th Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography, which is being held for the first time in India, after a long wait of more than 60 years. The triennial series of Congress will be attended by more than 1700 participants, which includes 500 Indians and 1200 foreigners from 75 countries. This mega science event will showcase 900 presentations by world leading crystallographers and more than 600 poster presentations by young scientists.
Adding to this Dr. Ram Jetty, Vice-Chair said, “It is an honourto be part of the Organizing committee, IUCr2017. I express my gratitude to the participants from various countries; not only for proposing this Conference but also for all the efforts they have invested in bringing this meeting to fruition.The program includes 3 plenaries, 40 keynotes, 119 microsymposia, regular and e-posters, commercial exhibits, satellite meetings, workshops and official meetings of the IUCr. The conference also includes a few special activities on science related matters such as the world’s giant salt crystal model and dragon’s den competition. The conference will be a state of the art international meeting which is being organised in India for the first time.”
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Marvin Hackert, President, IUCrsaid, “We are very excited for this event to be held for the first time in India. The International Union of Crystallography already developed an impeccable reputation of excellence and has become most eagerly anticipated events on international level. I am confident that this event will deliver on its promise to provide exceptional knowledgeable and memorable event.”