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International School of Crystallography - Erice

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Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture
President: Professor Antonino Zichichi


Director: Sir Tom Blundell, FRS FMedSci

Scientific Report

The course consisted of a combination of lectures and hands-on workshops, split between mornings and afternoons respectively. It was concurrent with the Diffuse scattering school (57th Erice Course) with three lectures shared between the two. The program consisted of 30 lectures given by 24 speakers and 3 'industry talks' provided by the sponsoring companies. Only a limited number of speakers participated remotely, with a majority of them enjoying the on-site course in the Ettore Majorana Centre. In addition, the social events and poster sessions were all shared between the two programs. Three hours of workshops were held each afternoon. Workshop presenters delivered tutorial instructions, data files, and software downloads to participants in advance of the school. Both introductory and advanced tutorial exercises were provided, in order to fully engage beginners and experts alike. In addition, hands-on workshops with detailed tutorials on diamond anvil cell loading and transport measurements were held.

The course was advertised internationally and without any geographical restrictions. Due to unusual circumstances surrounded by global pandemic and regional conflicts, however, several of the participants could not be physically present and some of the presentations were delivered virtually. Also due to the uncertainties stemming from these conditions we had more representation from European countries. Despite these difficulties, the course successfully hosted 60 students selected out of almost 90 applications received. It should be noted that although most of the participants were from Europe, North America and Asia, the course also accommodated scientists representing South America, Australia and Asia 42 students presented their posters at two poster sessions. The quality of the presentations was very high, in fact most of the time people were queuing up to see the displayed results. The jury consisting of the distinguished speakers representing various disciplines of extreme conditions research decided to award four poster prizes, that went to Adrien Descamps (USA), Viktoriia Drushliak (Poland), Laura Henry (France) and Samuel Gallego-Parra (Spain).

Despite the restrictions imposed by global COVID-19 pandemics, the meeting organizers took every effort to facilitate the interactions between all participants. Many students expressed that the unique dynamic atmosphere of the conference helped them build professional friendships and learn about the opportunities within the field outside of the coursework.

At the end of the course the survey was sent to all the participants. The course was well received (88/100) and most of the respondents agreed that a similar school should be organized within the next 3-4 years.

Poster Prize

Winners of the poster prizes with the Directors of the course. From left to right: Kamil Dziubek, Helen Maynard-Casely, Laura Henry, Adrien Descamps, Viktoriia Drushliak, Samuel Gallego-Parra and Shanti Deemyad.

The directors

Shanti Deemyad, Kamil Filip Dziubek, Helen Maynard-Casely