The 33 European Crystallographic Meeting (ECM33) was held in the Palais des Congres from 23-27 August in Versailles. As always, a broad range of microsymposia was offered that were proposed and organized by the SIGs and Gigs (special/general interest groups) of the ECA. In addition, there were 16 keynote and 2 plenary lectures. The subjects range from the X-ray investigation of batteries for energy storage, total scattering studies and diffuse scattering, crystal engineering, quantum crystallography, software development, 3D electron diffraction, large scale facilities, serial crystallography and time resolved studies as well as fold prediction of proteins. The commercial exhibitions allow one to get informed on the latest developments in equipment and techniques. Many of the companies are indispensable sponsors for the ECM organization.
The building presented a challenge to find the lecture rooms, with many stairs leading to the wrong side of the building and even the wrong floor. Apart from that the location was superb, just opposite the Chateau de Versailles, which is amazingly large, even if you know that.
This year it was the celebration of 25th anniversary of the ECA. There was a special celebration session, where almost all of the past presidents said a few words about their experiences. The session started with our member Paul Beurkens who was one of the co-founders of ECA. It was a great achievement to remodel the somewhat loose ECC that had been responsible for organizing the ECMs before. As it happened it was (almost) 50 years ago that the first ECM was held in Bordeaux. The ECA has national members, which are usually national crystallographic associations, like our NVK. Aside from that, crystallographers can also become individual members, and these are entitled to become member of the SIGs and have some other privileges.
There were almost 900 participants, so that is a success for the organization. It was very rewarding to meet colleagues in person again, after all the corona restrictions.
By: Loes Kroon-Batenburg