The BCA 2015 Spring Meeting programme is rapidly taking shape with sparkling lectures, scientific sessions and workshops already in place, thanks to the hard work of the Programme Committee. The programme spans a diverse range of scientific sessions covering topical crystallography within each of the BCA groups. The 2015 BCA Named Lectures have been confirmed: the Dorothy Hodgkin Lecture will be presented by Prof Sir Tom Blundell FRS and the Lonsdale Lecture by Prof Simon Parsons. A number of plenary speakers are also already confirmed.

We have increased the biological structures component of the meeting so that it spans all 6 parallel sessions. The layout of the York Exhibition Centre also allows us to run workshops simultaneously with sessions, allowing plenty of choice for delegates.

This year we have scheduled two sessions to capture the recent surge in outreach and education activities by the BCA. There will be an educational lecture during the Young Crystallographers’ Satellite Meeting given in a double act by Prof Mike Glazer and Prof Bill Clegg on the use of International Tables for Crystallography, as well as a session within the main meeting dedicated to the subject of teaching crystallography.

The meeting website is live!


Biological Structures Group (BSG)

BSG Plenary – Tuesday afternoon.
Prof Gideon Davies, University of York.
Chair: E J Dodson

BSG sessions

Tuesday: Drug design. Chair Dave Brown (Kent).
Tuesday: Data acquisition. Chair Elspeth Garman (Oxford).
Wednesday: Data Mining – wealth & pitfalls. Chair: Kevin Cowtan (York).
Wednesday: Ligand Chemistry (joint session with the Chemical Crystallography Group) Chair Ehmke Pohl (Durham).
Thursday:  Simultaneous use of EM and MX data
. Chair: Garib Murshudov (LMB, Cambridge).
Thursday: Low-resolution refinement. Chair: Keith Wilson (York)

BSG Workshops (To Be Confirmed)

CCP4mg. Stuart McNicholas (York), Keith Wilson
DIALS. David Waterman (CCP4)
EM and X-rays. Jorge Navaza (Bilbao)
PDBe Roadshow. Sameer Velankar (EBI)


Chemical Crystallography Group (CCG)

CCG Plenary. Tuesday lunchtime:
Colin Groom, CCDC. Chair: Simon Coles

Tuesday: Data Avalanche Chair: Mark Warren (Diamond), Co-chair: László Fábián (University of East Anglia)
With the dramatic decrease in read out times of detectors the time to obtain a dataset has also dramatically reduced. An entire dataset can now be collected in a matter of milliseconds at synchrotrons and tens of minutes in-house. With this, the crystallographer has been bombarded with shed loads of data (eg approaching zettabytes)! How will we cope? Well, the “Data Avalanche” session will bring together experienced speakers who have come up with strategies to organise and compare all their processed data, and ways in which the vast number of resulting structures can be evaluated and summed up in manageable tables and graphs.

Tuesday: Automation Chair: Claire Wilson (Diamond/NCS), Co-chair: Pascal Parois (University of Oxford)
Developments in areas such as detectors, sources and computing provide powerful drivers for automation in chemical crystallography. Automation also offers exciting opportunities to carry out new systematic scientific studies. This session could include work relating to hardware and/or software to handle higher throughput of structures and results of studies arising from such developments.

Wednesday: Ligand Chemistry Chair: Ehmke Pohl (Durham University), Co-chair: to be confirmed
This session is focussed on the interface between chemical and macromolecular crystallography where structural information from the entire range of crystallography is used to analyse, understand and optimise small-molecular to protein interaction. We welcome presentations describing novel methods and experimental techniques, as well as current examples of important protein-ligand systems.

Wednesday: Problem Data Chair: Stephen Moggach (University of Edinburgh), Co-chair: Jamie Gould (University of Liverpool)
Recent advances in crystallographic software and hardware have resulted in significant advances within many areas of crystallographic research. These include time-resolved studies, experiments involving different sample environments and the extraction of detailed information from between the Bragg reflections. We welcome presentations on methods which involve extracting crystallographic information from such sample environments on what are (or once were) referred to as ‘problem data’.

Thursday: Would you publish this? Chair: Bill Clegg (University of Newcastle), Co-chair: Gary Nichol (University of Edinburgh)
Keynote speaker: Larry Falvello (University of Zaragoza)
This session will have an unusual format. After an opening talk by Professor Larry Falvello from the points of view of a crystallographer, author, and editor, anyone present can briefly describe a structural result that raises the session title question for the audience to discuss. We’ll be requesting contributions in advance to avoid total chaos – more detail to follow!

Thursday: Complementary Calculations Chair: John Claridge (University of Liverpool), Co-chair: Simon Parsons (University of Edinburgh)
The use of computational methods has made great strides, both in structure determination, prediction of new structure types and their response to stimuli, providing insight and guidance to experimental studies. We welcome presentations on computational methods used to complement traditional crystallographic techniques to give a deeper understanding of crystal chemistry and physics.

Industrial Group (IG)

Plenary speaker TBA

Wednesday: Catalysis

Wednesday: Liquids and Amorphous Materials (Joint session with PCG)
Chairs: Dr Christoph G. Salzmann (University College London) & Dr Spoorthi Dharmayat
Lacking any long-range order, liquids and amorphous materials are notoriously difficult to characterise structurally. From a technological and scientific point of view they are, however, immensely important classes of materials. The vast majority of chemical reactions is carried out in the liquid state and amorphous materials, such as amorphous silicon, are widely used in industry, for example, in thin-film transistors and photovoltaic cells. This session will highlight some of the recent advances in this area ranging from structural characterisations to the applications of these materials.

Physical Crystallography Group (PCG)

PCG Plenary: Prof Tony Cheetham (University of Cambridge)
Phase transitions in metal organic frameworks
Chair: Matt Tucker (ISIS/Diamond)

Tuesday: Beyond the elastic line –Resonant and Inelastic diffraction
Chair: Dr Mark Senn (Diamond)
Keynote: Steve Collins PBS (Diamond)
This is an interdisciplinary session designed to bring crystallographers together with researchers who come from a background in resonant and inelastic scattering. The aim of the session is to explore the possibilities in crystallography beyond “conventional” charge scattering, and speakers with a background in spectroscopy or an element of spectroscopic measurements in their work are strongly encouraged to apply.

Tuesday: Challenges and technical advances in powder diffraction
Chair: Dr Paul Saines (University of Oxford)
Powder diffraction plays a crucial role in the characterisation of functional materials including studies in-situ and at extreme conditions; especially in the many cases where single crystals are unavailable. This session will examine recent developments in techniques and instrumentation alongside cutting edge results in this important field.

Wednesday: “Structural insights into ferroic materials”
Chair: Prof Phil Lightfoot (University of St Andrews)
Materials that display ferroelectric, ferroelastic or (ferro)magnetically ordered states are of widespread technological interest. The nature of these phase transitions, the symmetry breaking that occurs and the possibility of coupling these ferroic orders are the focus of this session.
Keynote speaker: Prof Pam Thomas (University of Warwick)

YCG Satellite meeting

Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning

BSG-YCs’ Plenary speaker: Prof Susan Lea
Chair: Sam Horrell

PCG/IG YCs’ Plenary speaker: Prof Bill David*
Chair: Jorge Sotelo

*Prof David is unable to attend – an updated programme will be available on the website shortly [12 Jan 2015]
The YCG will have an International Tables Teaching Session:-

“Space groups – the final frontier”
Part 1: A voyage into orbit – Bill Clegg, Newcastle University
Part 2:  Into deep space – Mike Glazer, Oxford University


Dorothy Hodgkin Lecturer: Prof Sir Tom Blundell FRS

Lonsdale Lecturer: Professor Simon Parsons




The deadline for oral abstract submissions, including submission for the YCG Satellite Meeting, is Monday 12th Friday 16th January 2015. The final deadline for poster abstracts is Monday March 2nd 2015.

The full Programme Committee is:-


John R Helliwell (Chair)
Eleanor Dodson (BSG)
Keith Wilson (BSG)
Mike Probert (CCG)
Pete Wood(CCG)
Spoorthi Dharmayat (IG)
Judith Shackleton (IG)
Emma McCabe (PCG)
Paul Saines (PCG)
Horst Puschmann (Computing and software)
Scott McKellar (YCG)
Lucy Saunders (YCG)
Claire Wilson (BCA Secretary)
Richard Cooper (BCA Vice President)
David Keen (BCA President)


Dates, deadlines and announcement will appear on the website and in Crystallography News.

John R Helliwell      &    Richard Cooper
Chair of BCA 2015  &    BCA Vice President