Crystallography and Geopolitics

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Science  07 Mar 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6175, pp. 1057
DOI: 10.1126/science.1252187


Developed and developing nations recognize that innovation is key to their economies. Connecting this with the discipline of crystallography may not seem immediately apparent, but during the past century, understanding the structure of matter has transformed industries and created new frontiers, from the design of new medicines and materials to assessing the mineral content of Mars. The future global economy will be determined by progress in cutting-edge fields. However, the playing field is not level in crystallography, which is why the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have marked 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography. The aim is to improve public awareness of the field, boost access to instrumentation and high-level research, nurture “home-grown” crystallographers in developing nations, and increase international collaborations for the benefit of future generations.

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