The International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014) aimed to improve and continue public awareness of the field, boost access to instrumentation and high-level research, nurture locally-trained crystallographers in developing nations, and increase international collaboration for the benefit of future generations.
Major projects to achieve these broad aims included: IUCr-UNESCO OpenLabs. These are a network of crystallographic laboratories based mainly in Asia, Africa and South America, and implemented in partnership with industry. The OpenLabs facilitate hands-on training for students in modern research techniques.
IUCr- UNESCO Summit meetings. The Summit meetings brought together scientists from widely separated parts of the world, they were held in Karachi (Pakistan), Campinas (Brazil) and Bloemfontein (South Africa). The meetings, were attended by academics, industry and science administrators and focused on high-level science but also highlighted the difficulties of conducting competitive research in the developing world.
Crystal growing competitions. A major objective of IYCr2014 was also to establish an awareness of crystals and their structure in school children. A vibrant worldwide network of schools participating in crystal-growing experiments was initiated. The continued aim is to introduce students to the exciting, challenging and sometimes frustrating world of growing crystals. Winners are those who most successfully convey their experiences to the panel of judges through videos or essays.
Even though the year is coming to an end the above activities and more will continue, you can still participate in many ways and we urge you to visit www.iycr2014.org for more information and resources to assist in communicating the importance of crystallography to a wider audience.